DANIEL Elliott’s half-century was not enough to prevent Avoncroft from slumping to a 22-run defeat against Redditch Seconds in Worcestershire County League Division Three.
Redditch’s 160 total proved enough for victory, despite no significant individual scores during the visitors’ innings, with Avoncroft also unable to find regular runs after the loss of Elliot (50) for the third wicket.
After the hosts elected to field, Redditch struggled to find their rhythm at the crease, losing opener Nick Fowkes (4) followed by Anis Suleman’s (11) dismissal lbw from Jonathan Hunter deliveries.
Asif Mukhtar (2) was lost cheaply, while captain Luke Davis (11) was the first victim claimed by Josh Cound (3-18), with the bowler then dismissing Tanay Kulkarni (17) at 57-5.
The Redditch slump continued, with Abdul Jabbar (8), James Bevan (11) and Kevin Lokenath (7) next to follow, leaving the visitors facing a likely defeat at 83-8.
But a stand of 41 put on by Sahil Mahmood (13) and Amaan Malik (21no) put Redditch back on track.
Mahmood was gone by the ninth wicket after being dismissed lbw by Craig Hughes (2-15), before tailender Mohammad Zahid (11) put on 36 with Malik,
Hughes then bowled Zahid in the 45th over to end the innings and signal the change of ends.
The Croft put on an opening partnership of 35 between Steve Eastham (14) and Elliott, though number three Ben Warwick (1) was unable to add to early momentum after a cheap dismissal from Kulkarni’s catch.
Elliott was gone at 77-3, though the runs initially continued to be added to the Avoncroft tally.
Chris Pitt (18) was bowled lbw by Sahil Mahmood (2-23), while Hughes suffered the same fate, this time at the hands of bowler Lokenath (3-23).
The fall of the fifth wicket sparked a collapse to the second half of the Avoncroft batting line, with Jonty Heslop (0) dismissed by Lokenath from the first ball faced, followed by Cound – who was caught and bowled by Bevan, and Matthew Palmer (2).
Jason Patel (4) and Paul Athey (16no) were stubborn in their quest to edge the hosts over the line, but lost the former to Lokenath’s catch off a Bevan delivery, while replacement Jonathan Hunter (0) added no further score before his dismissal as the final wicket.
Avoncroft hope to bounce back from a frustrating defeat when visiting fifth-placed Kempsey on Saturday (1pm).