HIMBLETON got their Worcestershire County League Division Three season off to an electric start as they beat Malvern by 91 runs on Saturday.
Batting first, the Meadow Boys started well with the irreplaceable Alistair Pretty top scoring with a fluent 66 while twin Ricky chipped in with 35.
James Alford also smashed 36 off just 12 balls at the end of the innings as the village side were bowled out for 216 from 43 overs.
Rob Perrin starred with the ball for Malvern, taking five wickets for 50 runs from his 15 overs which included two maidens.
In reply Malvern got off to a steady start before part two of the Alford show started.
Firstly he starred in two run outs as his direct hits removed openers Anthony Arnold (9) and Lewis Hill (26).
And once captain Stuart Dickenson allowed him to have ball in hand, he skittled a shocked Malvern team, claiming figures of 6-22 from only seven overs.
Sam Jenkins (2-25) then came on to the attack and his unorthodox action confused the remainders of the hosts as they were bowled out for a paltry 125 after 28 overs.
“It was vital to get the season off to a good start and, given the lack of available players for the first game, it was a win against the odds,” said skipper Dickenson.
“It was the first time for many years we’ve won the first game of the season.
“I’m genuinely excited by the talent we have at Himbleton – it’s a healthy mix of players reaching their peak and older, wise heads.
“We should really be aiming for a top four finish.”
Himbleton entertain Netherton on Saturday at the Meadow Ground and welcome back opening batsman Jon Crithclow, strike bowler Mike Rogers and wicket-keeper Luke Brace.
“Netherton are always hovering near the top of the table and are a good all-round side – I wouldn’t be surprised to see them challenge for the title this year,” Dickenson added.