Avoncroft 1st 11 hosted local rivals Bromsgrove 3rd 11 on Saturday 2nd June. Skipper Hunter lost the toss as Bromsgrove elected to bat, however the pattern of the game followed a similar path to previous weeks as opening pair Athey and Hunter started well and it was Hunter who took the first two wickets dismissing Mathews (1) and Malhotra (1) thanks to smart catches from Steve Eastham and Josh Cound. It was then the turn of Cound who proved his worth with the ball dismissing Collins (13) thanks to one handed catch from Eastham and Cound continued an impressive spell finishing up with figures of 2-26 off his allocated 10 overs.
It was the turn of Dan Elliott (2-15) to take the next wicket by clean bowling Stratford for 0. Elliott continued an impressive spell dismissing the opener Downing (13) who was caught close by skipper Hunter. The returning Craig Hughes replaced Elliot and he was soon causing problems for the lower order of the Bromsgrove side and after a few lusty blows he picked up the stumping of Johnson (23). Hunter then returned to the attack following Counds impressive spell and soon mopped up the tail thanks to a reaction catch from Elliott and a comfortable catch from Bird leaving Hunter to clean bowl Blackmore (0) to wrap up the innings dismissing Bromsgrove for 102. Hunter was the pick of the bowlers picking up his 3rd consecutive 5 wicket haul taking (5-16) but was well support by all of the bowlers and a great team fielding performance.
Avoncroft had 15 overs to bat before tea and it was an excellent start with Eastham taking 20 off Smith’s first over. However fellow opening bowler Tuffin was not letting Croft cruise to victory as he quickly dismissed the inform Elliott (0), Eastham (30) and Hughes (0) and Cound (0) to leave Croft struggling at 54-4. It was the turn of keeper Murray and big hitting Anson to guide the Croft to tea. This was a vital partnership in order to allow the side to settle down at tea and regroup. However soon after tea Anson was clean bowled by Falllows for 5. This brought in youngster Heslop who earlier in the season had a match winning partnership with Murray (25*) and it was again this pair which brought the Croft over the victory line. The composed Heslop (31*) who has come through the clubs junior ranks showed maturity beyond his year smashing four sixes and 1 four and hitting the ball out of the ground to bring the Croft home.
A very good performance from the side but 3 standout performances from Cound with the ball, Murray with the bat and Heslop’s mature innings to bring the Croft home against local rivals.
A big thanks to Emma and Sally for a superb tea and for Sue scoring. The Croft return to action next week away at Five ways on Saturday 9th June.
Match Report by Jon Hunter, 03/06/18
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