SKIPPER Richard Sugden says that Himbleton’s seven-wicket win against Bartestree & Lugwardine in Worcestershire County League Division Two was a perfect display of the togetherness in his side’s ranks.
Himbleton beat the visitor’s 197-9 total in the 28th over, with Sean Jenkins hitting an unbeaten 73 and Alistair Pretty (56) claiming his maiden half-century of the season.
Greg Dale was in emphatic form during Bartestree’s innings, taking 4-50, while Sugden and Richard Pretty both made two catches each in the field.
Sugden believes the display was the perfect way to end their two-match losing run and get back to winning ways.
“That was a vital win, we needed to bounce back after defeats to the top two sides,” he said.
“The league is so tight you just can’t afford a bad run of results.
“We showed a lot of team spirit given the stifling heat and there were some tremendous individual performances too.”
The Himbleton captain singled out a few key performers, and says the win can provide a springboard to put together a winning run.
“Dale and Paul Guy (who took 2-12) carried on their form from last week, Greg picking up key wickets and Guysie bowling another miserly ten-over spell,” said Sugden.
“It was uplifting to see Alistair back in the runs and with Sean returning after several weeks out, I feel we’re on the upward curve as we enter an important run of winnable games.”
Bartestree & Lugwardine decided to bat first after winning the toss, but were quickly looking at a 19-3 scoreline after a disappointing start.
Jon Critchlow, Stuart Dickenson and Sugden took catches from Chris Tulacz (2), Marcus Ashcroft (4) and Kieran Smith (8) respectively – with Dale delivering two and George Clifton bowling the other.
Ryan Trattell (32) took his side to 65-4 before being caught and bowled by Guy, who then dismissed Andy Jones (18) at 87-5.
Dan Harris (24) and Nick Freeman (24) hit 34 during their seventh-wicket partnership, with Freeman still going when putting on 53 with number eight Michael Spink.
The opener was eventually dismissed at 190-8 when caught by Sugden off Dale’s delivery – although his end product of 24 runs from 131 balls faced proved more of a detriment than a benefit to the visitors.
Jack Trattell (6) was the ninth wicket to fall when Richard Pretty made a catch from Dale’s delivery, and although Himbleton failed to bowl out their opponents, they went into the crease full of confidence of claiming a victory.
With 15 penalty runs in their favour, the Meadow Boys hit 71 runs in the first nine overs, with the runs from openers Jon Critchlow (17) and Stuart Dickenson (12) being added to by the match-winning partnership of 111 between Alistair Pretty and Jenkins to take their side to a prompt victory.
Himbleton now visit Barnt Green Seconds on Saturday (1pm) hoping to avenge the loss suffered against them earlier in the season.