October 1st, 2016

James and Nicol spark run spree

AN OPENING stand of 232 between David James and Andy Nicol helped Avoncroft to a 141-run victory over second placed Bartestree & Lugwardine.

James notched up 113 and Nicol hit 121 before Sam Hughes smashed a quick-fire half-century as Croft made an impressive 358 in Division Three of the Worcestershire County League.

Its proved too much for Bartestree as Craig Hughes finished with figures of 4-42 while Will Sach and Daniel Elliott both chipped in with a brace of wickets.

Avoncroft lost the toss, but the visitors’ decision to put them into bat on a good looking wicket back-fired.

James got off to a flying start hitting a six in only the second over of the game and continued his attacking way to a superb century.

His opening partner, Nicol, quietly went about his business, but he was not to be outdone by James as he also reached his hundred.

James was the first man out with the score on 232 when he went for another six, only to be caught out.

This brought Hughes to the crease and he continued the quick scoring with 55 which included five fours and three sixes.

A few quick wickets fell while batsman were trying to keep the scoring rate going, with Avoncroft finishing the 50 overs with an impressive 358-8.

Croft went looking for early wickets and this was provided by Paul Athey (1-32) removing opener Joe Beach in the early overs with 30 on the board.

James kept it tight at the other end before the introduction of Elliott (2-31) to the attack secured two wickets to move the game firmly into Avoncroft’s hands.

Spinners Ian Carpenter (1-53) and Hughes (4-42) then removed the middle and lower order, including top scorer Ben Simpkin, who was out for 41 to Carpenter.

Seamer Will Sach (2-25) took a couple toto complete a fine all round performance in bowling out Bartestree for 217.

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