September 29th, 2016

Battling Bromsgrove sunk by Smethwick fightback

Battling Bromsgrove sunk by Smethwick fightback Battling Bromsgrove sunk by Smethwick fightback

AN ASH Newfield and Tom Hill-inspired Bromsgrove were denied victory with the penultimate ball of the match at promotion-chasing Smethwick.

After losing four early wickets, the visitors looked set for a miserable afternoon before the opener and wicket-keeper turned their side’s innings around.

Newfield notched up a century while Hill made 85 to give Bromsgrove hope of pulling off an impressive victory.

But their efforts were in vain as Smethwick chased down 247 to claim a dramatic win by one wicket.

After winning the toss and electing to bat, Bromsgrove would have been looking to post a strong score.

But they were soon dealt a series of blows as Smethwick took control. Opener Jayden Levitt faced just two balls before he fell to the bowling of Mohammed Sheikh.

Ryan Pedley (6) and Alexei Kervezee (9) were also sent marching back to the clubhouse before Naqaash Tahir caught and bowled Tom Green who made just 15 runs.

The early onslaught from Smethwick left Bromsgrove on 50-4 and in trouble of being skittled out for a demoralising score.

But Newfield was remaining resilient, though, and with the help of Hill, the duo managed to put the away side back on track.

Bromsgrove moved into triple figures and looked in a strong position as Newfield pushed on to make his century while Hill also appeared to be timing his shots well.

But with 204 on the board, Smethwick got the crucial wicket when Newfield (104) was run out by Naseer Ahmad. Hill got to 85, but his hopes of racking up a hundred were dashed by Sheikh. He also grabbed the wicket of Adam Jones (19) after James Ganderton fell for one.

Where Bromsgrove failed at the start of their innings, Smethwick prospered as they reached 50 without loss. But the Boars dug in and managed to get three wickets for the loss of 48 runs.

Mark Evenson got the breakthrough before Ganderton pitched in with two wickets. He also got Amitoze Singh (45) out, with Kervezee taking the catch.

Kervezee then got a wicket of his own when Hill stumped Sheikh (20) to leave the match in the balance with Smethwick on 142-5.

But some attacking batting from Shakeel Janjua kept Smethwick’s run rate up and the scoreboard ticking, with Naqaash Tahir backing him up with a dogged 23.

Alex Wilkinson and Nick Husbands claimed two late wickets, but this was not enough as Navdeep Poonia made ten off five balls to win the match.

Meanwhile, Bromsgrove Seconds claimed a comfortable six wicket victory against Worcester, with Scott Burrows (43)Julian Court (47*) and Jack Harding (24*) top scoring.

Boars’ Thirds could only manage to score 227 thanks to Paul Hutchins (67) but this proved enough as Max Smith took a match-winning and personal best 7-43 to bowl the visitors out just six runs short of victory.

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