HIMBLETON moved a step closer to promotion from Worcestershire County League Division Three with a well-earned victory over Avoncroft.
Opting to bat first on a firm wicket, the Meadow Boys made rapid progress after the early loss of stand-in opener Mike Rogers (7).
Richard Sugden (26) and Ali Pretty (48) maintained their impressive form by adding 60.
Sugden was then run out and was swiftly followed Pretty before Sean Jenkins (28) was also sent back to the pavilion after being clean bowled by Paul Athey (2-40).
This left Himbleton teetering at 116-4 after 20 overs.
Captain Stuart Dickenson (98) was joined by his vice-captain Jamie Alford (78) and the pair shared a match-winning partnership of 143.
Dickenson played a supporting role as Alford went on the counter-attack with some exquisitely timed drives and determined running between the wickets.
His innings of 78 came off only 53 balls, including seven boundaries and four maximums.
Once he departed Dickenson took up the charge and moved to 98 from 97 balls with a flurry of boundaries, including three sixes in one over.
His dismissal with three balls left meant he missed out on a second hundred of the season.
Rob Perrins (30) then helped take the score to 334-7 from 50 overs.
In reply, Avoncroft’s openers were becalmed by the unerring accuracy of Sam Jenkins (1-47) and Rob Perrins (1-48).
However, the batsmen stuck to their guns and made good progress to their target.
The game was finely balanced at 25 overs, with Avoncroft sitting pretty at 140-1 and Matt Hare (84) and Sam Hughes (26) looking to accelerate.
Dickenson decided then to take the pace off the ball and turned to his two spinners Paul Guy (3-46) and Sugden (0-36).
As a result, Avoncroft suddenly needed 150 needed off the last ten overs which proved too much in the end as Himbleton were able to secure victory by a comfortable 70 runs.
Himbleton entertain third-placed Bartestree and Lugwardine on Saturday.