Wedge hails new man after fine debut

Rajat Bhatia hit 80 on his Himley debut

Rajat Bhatia hit 80 on his Himley debut

First published in Sport

STUART Wedge hailed new man Rajat Bhatia after he helped Himley to victory against Brockhampton.

The Indian Premier League star struck a superb debut 80 just 48 hours after arriving from the sub-continent as Himley moved up to third in the Birmingham League Premier Division with a 40-run win.

His score was the backbone of the home side’s total of 180.

Skipper Wedge, who then took 4-33 as the visitors were bowled out for 140, says he has been very impressed by the new man.

He said: “Having spoken to him quite a bit over the few days he has been here, he seems to have a very level head.

“He really wants to do well for us and help us achieve things.

“That’s all you can ask for from an overseas player.

“I’m sure it’s not going to be the case that every week on these wickets he is going to make a massive score.

“What was really pleasing on Saturday was how the lower middle order dug in after we had lost a few early wickets.”

Bhatia’s innings came from 121 balls and included six sixes. When the Kolkata Knight Riders star arrived at the crease, Himley were 13-2 and soon found themselves 42-5.

But Waqas Ahmed (25) and Mike Jones (29) gave him the necessary support as Himley built a challenging total on a tough pitch.

Wedge then removed visiting opener Ben Stebbings before he had chance to trouble the scorers. Chris Boroughs (46) and Joe Crichard (42) made solid contributions.

However, they didn’t have the partners, as Brockhampton were eventually all out in 39.1 overs, Ashfak Hussain and Nick Harrison picking up three wickets each.

Wedge added: “At the midway stage of our inning we were thinking a score of 120 or 130 would be quite competitive.

“To get 180 was really impressive and put us in the driving seat.

“I wouldn’t say it was our most clinical display with the ball this season but we very much ground them down and kept the pressure on.

“We managed to bowl them out and get the full 24 points, which is someting we’ve struggled to do at times in season’s past.”

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