19th Aug, 2017

Himbleton secure victory over Alvechurch & Hopwood to keep up pressure on league leaders Kempsey

Craig Gibbons 2nd Aug, 2017 Updated: 3rd Aug, 2017

HIMBLETON put in a complete performance to beat Alvechurch & Hopwood by four wickets to keep the pressure on Worcestershire County League Division Three leaders Kempsey.

Bowling first, the Meadow Boys never allowed the home side to settle.

Sam Jenkins (2-30) bowled beautifully and was ably supported by Rob Perrins (2-31).

The introduction of Matt Handford rewarded the visitors as he claimed the prize wicket of Adam Markham-Jones (13).

Alvechurch looked to rebuild in the middle of the innings and Edd Rodgers (68) looked to be giving the hosts a competitive score.

Unfortunately his patience ran out as he was caught by Alistair Pretty from the bowling of Paul Guy.

George Clifton (1-21) then removed Dan Wolstencroft to leave Himbleton in a strong position after 30 overs with Alvechurch at 120-7.

Alvechurch batted sensibly towards the back end of their innings with Sohail Malik (30) and Mike Reuben (11) pushing the score along.

After a run out from Perrins, Sean Jenkins (2-14) removed the final two wickets as the hosts finished on 174 all out.

Himbleton’s reply got off to a slow start as Mike Rogers and Luke Brace battled hard to see off the new ball.

When Rogers (6) was trapped LBW, the score had only reached double figures as Wolstencroft and Christian Battelley bowled with controlled aggression.

Brace eventually fell for 13.

Pretty (27) and skipper Stuart Dickenson (11) looked to be more positive but both quickly departed to leave the Meadow Boys in trouble at 60-4 after 20 overs.

Sean Jenkins (44) played controlled shots in his match-defining innings to build a partnership of 109 with Jamie Alford for the fifth wicket.

Alford, who was dropped after his second ball, went on to score a chanceless unbeaten 54 as his class showed with shots all around the ground.

With just three needed for victory Jenkins looked to finish in style and was caught in the covers before Handford fell to the first ball of the next over.

But Perrins did what Jenkins couldn’t and struck a maximum off his first ball to give Himbleton the win and keep their promotion hopes alive with seven games left of the season.

The Meadow Boys entertain Astwood Bank Thirds on Saturday.

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