Avoncroft hold nerve to win a thriller - The Droitwich Standard

Avoncroft hold nerve to win a thriller

Droitwich Editorial 25th Jun, 2014 Updated: 17th Oct, 2016   0

AVONCROFT claimed their fourth victory of the Worcestershire League Division Three season as they defeated Saturday’s visitors Netherton by nine runs in an exciting encounter.

The hosts lost the toss and were put into bat by a strong Netherton side. Avoncroft, looking to bounce back from some poor recent batting performances, started slowly against some very good seam bowling from Netherton’s opening bowlers.

Will Sach (7) was the first to go LBW, shortly followed by Matt Hare (3) who was undone by some good spin bowling to be clean bowled.

Andy Nicol continued his good form with Craig Hughes but after some big blows Hughes fell to a sharp catch for 27 and Nicol was soon to follow back to the changing room having been bowled for a determined 41.

A Brunt then went for 0 which bough D Elliott to the crease following his return from university. The all-rounder played a very mature innings alongside David James who was dismissed for 25.

Elliott continued on his way while running out of partners and put on a good partnership with Paul Athey before finally being dismissed for 47. Athey finished 9 not out as a run out off the final ball of the innings saw Avoncroft close on 182 all out in 50 overs.

The total seemed short on a good batting wicket with a fast outfield, but Avoncroft started strongly with the ball with Athey and James both bowling very tightly with the new ball, backed up well in the field.

James made the early breakthrough by having the opener well caught in the gully by Sach. Elliott then came into the attack to cap a fine all-round performance by having the other opener caught behind by Hare and then trapping the next batsman LBW to finish with figures of 2-26.

Meanwhile, James was bowling very tightly at the other end, taking regular wickets. Sach (1-41) came into the attack and picked up a big wicket followed by Hughes (2-34) taking a couple.

The return of Athey made the breakthrough as Netherton hit some big blows trying to chase down the score. A stunning diving catch on the boundary by James off Athey’s bowling swung the game back in Avoncroft’s favour before a solid last wicket partnership got Netherton within touching distance of the total, only for James to return to the attack and produce another fine catch off his own bowling to finish with 4-30 off 13.1 overs and seal a 24-point win for Avoncroft as the visitors were dismissed for 173 in the 44th over.

Sixth placed Avoncroft – only 24 points behind leaders Harborne – visit Ross-on-Wye on Saturday.

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