Avoncroft made the short trip up the M42 as they visited Five Ways on Saturday 9th June. Skipper Hunter once again lost the toss and Five Ways opted to bat on a tired looking wicket. Croft didn’t make the early break through as they have done in previous weeks and openers Hamilton and Ahmed made a cautious steady start, however the croft didn’t make the most of the new ball and it was set to be a long day in the field as several catches went down.
However veteran Athey lead by example and made the first breakthrough, he dismissed Hamilton (5) caught by Heslop and he was quickly followed into the pavilion by Potter who Athey clean bowled with the ball of the day to leave Five Ways in a little bit of trouble. It was then the role of Cound to continue his form with the ball and bowled well but finished wicketless in his 9 overs. Spinner Craig Hughes took a while to settle into his rhythm with Ahmed and Mahmood scoring well off the Croft spinner. The rate started to slow down thanks to the introduction of seamer Dan Elliott who had both batsmen in trouble throughout his opening spell. It was Elliott who made the breakthrough following a 102 runs partnership thanks to a well take catch by Josh Cound.
A quick piece of fielding by skipper Hunter allowed Elliott to whip the bails off as Croft looked to come back into the game. Hughes and Athey then started to combine well as Hughes picked up two wickets thanks to catches from Hunter and Murray ended Khan (1) and Ahmeds (88) innings. Athey then ripped through the lower order as he picked up his first 5 wicket haul of the season finishing figures of 5/27 off his allotted 10 overs. The Croft really pulled the innings back as Five Ways who were 140/2 at one point finished the innings 183 all out.
The Croft made a great start to the runs chase as opening pair Elliott and Sam Hughes started well however it was soon to not end well. Elliott (21) and Hughes (12) fell quickly. They were followed by Craig Hughes (11) who got a ball which kept very low as the pitch started to deteriorate. The wickets continued the fall despite some fight from Sach (17) and Murray (15) as Avoncroft were bowled out for 112 as Pugh was the last man out. It was a poor batting display with several batsmen playing poor shots in a game the Croft should have comfortably chased.
Avoncroft will look to react well with a double header this week as Wednesday evening they host Belbroughton 3’s in the quarter final’s of the Carter cup with a 6:15 start and face Rushwick at home on Saturday 16 June.
Match Report by Jon Hunter, 11/06/18
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