SKIPPER Stuart Dickenson heaped praised on Alastair Pretty for his match-defining century which guided Himbleton to a winning draw against Old Vigornians in Worcestershire County League Division Two.
The Meadow Boys had Pretty (131) to thank as the batting finally clicked, posting a massive 305-7 in their 50 overs.
His knock was a masterclass in how to build an innings as he struck 20 boundaries including seven monumental sixes over the course of the 40 overs he was at the crease.
After the early loss of Richard Sugden (10), Pretty and Jon Critchlow (44) built the platform from which the middle order was able to launch an attack in the later overs.
Pretty continued to accumulate as Sean Jenkins (36), Rich Pretty (15), Stuart Dickenson (16) and Jamie Alford (19) all made telling and rapid contributions.
Pretty was out off the penultimate ball of the innings, sacrificing his wicket in the quest for further late runs.
Azmat Riaz (4-84) was the only bowler to come away with a sense of achievement.
Old Vigornians began their reply with a blaze of boundaries but Rob Perrins (2-53) and Sam Jenkins (2-35) stemmed the tide with the key wickets of Osman Fiaz and William Burgoyne.
Whilst boundaries were frequent as the hosts looked to keep up with the run rate, the Meadow Boys stuck to their task, maintaining pressure and nicking wickets at crucial moments aided by some fine catches from Sugden and Pretty.
The rate kept creeping up, despite the efforts of Steve Campbell-Ferguson (46) and Alex Parker (25).
And once the rejuvenated Greg Dale (3-74) had claimed his third wicket the hosts decided it was time to shut up shop and hold out for the draw, finishing on 237-8.
Dickenson said: “It was an excellent all-round effort with everyone contributing to a rewarding result.
“It’s always a pleasure watching Ali Pretty bat but that was special.
“He allowed us to build towards a commanding total and he played beautifully throughout.
“Our bowlers were on form as well, backed up by commitment from everyone in the field.
“I knew we’d come good eventually and I’m just hoping for more of the same next week.”
Himbleton make one change as Paul Guy comes in for Greg Dale when they host Oldswinford & Stourbridge Social on Saturday.