Avoncroft Sunday XI won a tight encounter away against Droitwich in their third league fixture of the season. On a beautiful day Croft lost the toss and were asked to field first. Croft started well, Max Jukes taking a wicket with the first ball of the game, producing a peach of a delivery that hit the stumps. He soon removed Hanson for 18 with a similar delivery, Max’s opening spell of 4 overs, 2 wickets for 4 runs set the tone. Max was well supported by Josh Cound who kept things tight and was unfortunate not to pick up a wicket.
Croft continued to keep things tight with the ball with Dan Elliott and Ed Pugh bowling a combined 16 overs for just 68 runs, Dan picked up Blackmore for 38 to record a deserved wicket. To the delight of the team Ben Warwick bowled for the first time in two seasons after shoulder trouble and looked good. Shaw went to his hundred with a beautiful cover drive but Croft managed to restrict Droitwich at the end and they closed on 196 for 3 from 40 overs.
In reply Croft lost the in form Jonty Heslop cheaply, however Dan Elliott and Christopher Pitt steadied the ship with a 52 run partnership before Chris was out bowled for 20. Ben Warwick and Dan then shared a 63 run partnership before Ben was also out for 20. Josh Cound joined Dan and the pair looked set to take Croft home however Dan holed out on 79 and was joined shortly after by Josh for 25.
With Croft still needing 35 from the last four overs Jon Bird and Andy Wise kept their cool, Andy hitting a four and six from consecutive deliveries in the 37th over before being bowled for a handy 12. Croft still needed 10 from the last two overs and reached the target with 4 balls to spare, Jon Bird bringing the side home with an unbeaten 25. A great effort from all involved.
Croft take a break from league cricket this weekend and can turn their attention to enjoying the interclub T20 competition.
Match Report by Christopher Pitt, 20/05/2018