Stour continue promotion push

First published in Sport by

STOURBRIDGE continued their promotion push by claiming a third successive victory.

Stour's eight wicket away win over Old Elizabethans last Saturday lifted the War Memorial Ground outfit into third place in Division Two of the Birmingham and District Premier League.

Club chairman Harilal Jivan-Patel says confidence is running high after the impressive run of results.

"The victory has boosted confidence throughout the club and revived hopes of the first team moving and staying in one of the top two spots," he said.

"It was encouraging to see the boys take the pressure the way they did against an excellent batting side like Old Elizabethans. Then the top order built an innings and then took away the initiative from the opposition."

Stour now have six matches to overhaul second-placed Penkridge's 17 point advantage.

A green looking track led skipper Richard Bradley to field first against last weekend's opposition.

However, it was a rued decision as the Old Elizabethans openers, James Boyle and Jonathan Smit, put on a rapid 88 runs for the first wicket in 24 overs.

Opening pace bowler Ikram Mudassaq and the left hand leggie Audy Alexander looking ineffective as Bradley juggled the attack.

Eventually it was Bilal Hassan who managed the break through after a punishing first wicket stand.

Number three Jonathan Miles did not last long before Hassan had him trapped lbw for 2.

Old Elizabethans were strongly placed on 96 for 2 at the half way stage of the innings. Stour dug deep to control the flow of runs on what was a batting track.

The inform Smit smashed nine boundaries before misjudging a delivery from Alexander to be out lbw for 59.

Worse was to come for the visitors as Joe Taylor set about making the most of the docile track.

He and Damon Gariff produced another massive partnership that took them from 105 to 218 before Hassan struck again. He removed Gariff (33) to end an ominous partnership.

Hassan fought back further with four more wickets in his final two overs, only just missing out on a hat-trick in the final over.

Stour’s opening pair of Alex Bingham and Steve Game displayed a master class in building an innings faced with a double hundred target.

Cautious at first, they put on a first wicket partnership of 108. Bingham was the first to go in the 28th over caught and bowled by Taylor Pugh for 61 off 67 balls hitting 12 fours.

At that point Game was 44 not out focussed on a staying for the long haul.

Striding in at number three, Audy Alexander and Game worked up another solid partnership of 105.

Game reached 95 off 99 balls but fell to Huw Selvey in the 47th over caught driving having batted for nearly three hours.

Stour were 206 for 2 and were home and dry with six overs to spare.

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