HIMBLETON made it three wins from four games in Worcestershire County League Division Two as they defeated Bredon by 56 runs.
The win all but secures their place in the division ahead of next season’s restructure of cricket in the West Midlands.
Having been put into bat on an uncovered wicket, openers Jon Critchlow (9) and Richard Pretty (30) decided attack was the best means of defence in the challenging conditions on Saturday afternoon.
Pretty’s explosive start helped the Meadow Boys race to 50 in just ten overs before four quick wickets fell to leave the visitors struggling at 78-4 at the halfway stage.
A watchful partnership of 90 from the in-form Ali Pretty (63) and the returning Mike Rogers (39) moved the score steadily upwards before both fell in quick succession.
The lower order scrambled a few more to allow Himbleton to finish on 175-8.
In reply, Bredon make good progress towards their target before Sam Jenkins (2-39) picked up two wickets to put his side back in the game.
The experienced duo Martyn Draper (32) and Kevin Wilkins (18) steadied the ship but it wasn’t long before Rob Perrins (5-39) – fresh from career-best figures of 7-65 the previous Saturday – whirled into action.
A devastating spell of accurate swing bowling brought him successive five wicket hauls to put the brakes on the hosts’ recovery and Himbleton in total control.
His five wickets came in just four overs as he bowled four batsmen and had Tim McKiver trapped LBW first ball.
Important wickets were also snapped up by Mike Rogers (1-9) and Paul Guy (1-14) which drove a shell-shocked Bredon to 90-9.
The last wicket pair of Jamie Munro (29 not out) and Liam Harris (11) held up Himbleton’s victory charge for ten overs before Critchlow (1-15) completed the rout, giving the Meadow Boys a maximum 24-point haul.
Skipper Stuart Dickenson said: “I knew we could compete in this division.
“It’s just a bit frustrating our ability has taken a while to come to the fore but a third win in four weeks goes to show this is a good side, capable of taking on anyone at this level.
“There is a confidence running through the team and it’s bringing out the best in everyone, in particular Ali Pretty and Rob Perrins.
“Ali’s currently the leading run scorer in the division and Rob has now picked up 12 wickets in two weeks.
“It would be great to finish with three more good performances and hopefully three more wins”
Himbleton host promotion-chasing Belbroughton on Saturday.