BARNT Green reached the Group 7 final of the ECB National Club Championship after a six-wicket victory against Knowle & Dorridge on Sunday.
The win sets up a group final meeting with Shrewsbury at the end of the month, and made up for the disappointment of their Birmingham & District Premier Division One fixture against Walsall being abandoned the previous day.
A Jacques Banton masterclass with the ball and bat put Barnt Green firmly in control against K&D, after taking 5-9 and hitting an unbeaten 59.
It extended the Green’s unbeaten run to nine games in all competitions.
The Green won the toss and elected to field first, taking an early wicket at 17-1 when Peter Scott caught Blake Coburn’s shot from a delivery from Andrew Sutton (2-19).
Oliver Haley (6) was next to go with the score 35-2, but K&D responded with a 46-run third-wicket partnership between Alex Phillips (39) and captain Sam Reddish (28), before the former departed after being caught by Edward Pollock off Darrel Williams.
The dismissal preceded a wicket-taking spree by Banton, who removed the next four batsmen – Tom Smith (0), William Rigg (12), Jack Grundy (9) and Hashim Iqbal (13) – to leave K&D 125-8.
Any realistic hopes of setting a commanding total had vanished, and tailenders Chris Cheslin (2) and Nick Sale (1) were quickly removed by Sutton and Adam Hines respectively to dismiss the visitors for 130.
Pollock (10) was the first Barnt Green wicket to fall at 19-1, after being bowled by William Mottram, while Rheedyi Amin (2) followed at 36-2.
A third-wicket partnership of 42 by Dominic Harding (12) and Banton helped lay a solid foundation for the hosts, although William Baker (0) departed first ball as the fourth wicket down with 78 on the scoreboard.
His misfortune was ultimately Barnt Green’s gain, however, as Banton and Scott (26) came together to put on 56 to win the game after 28 overs.
They face K&D for the second time in a week on Saturday (noon), this time in the league, when visiting Station Road, before heading to Berkswell on Sunday in the T20 Challenge Cup (2pm).
Meanwhile, Barnt Green’s Second XI beat Kidderminster by 51 runs in Worcestershire County League Division Two.
Batting first, Henry Cullen (48) and Simon Froggatt (48 not out) set the Green en route to a 190-9 total from their 38 overs at Chester Road.
Ed Rhodes then took 5-35, while Tom Brown (2-30) and Neylan Chauhan (2-27) both took a couple of wickets each to dismiss the hosts for 139 in the 32nd over.
The Greens’ second string host Halesowen on Saturday (1pm).