Firsts end season on a high, fourths surge to big win on Sunday

Firsts end season on a high, fourths surge to big win on Sunday

By Alex Thomas
15 September 2021
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Bridgnorth ended the Birmingham League season in style with a hard-fought win at Dorridge, whilst the seconds and thirds fought hard but lost out…

Bridgnorth (227-9) beat Dorridge (204) by 23 runs

A fine all-round team performance saw Bridgnorth clinch victory in their last game of the season at Dorridge on Saturday, seeing them finish in fifth place in Birmingham League Division Two.

Despite losing a wicket in the first over after being asked to bat first, Bridgnorth made a solid start to the innings as Joe Smallman, Karl Quiney and Simon Gregory all got starts, but the hosts bowling attack chipped away to keep the game in the balance. At 97-5 in the 26th over, Ben Lees and captain Sam Whitney came together at a crucial point in the game, and an intelligently played 67-run partnership added some much needed substance to the innings.

Lees continued his excellent late-season form to top-score with 72, whilst a late supporting cameo from Mark MacPherson-Lees helped the Cricket Meadow men past the 220 mark, putting them slightly ahead.

An excellent start with the ball from seamers Adam Quiney and Charlie Walker then saw Bridgnorth reduce their hosts to 7-2 early on to put them firmly on the front foot. The experienced middle-order then worked hard to get back in the game, but Quiney’s opening burst of 3-49 was followed by a highly controlled spell of 3-16 from skipper Whitney as Dorridge slumped to 113-8 in the chase.

However, the hosts’ lower order hadn’t given up the fight, and an 84-run ninth wicket partnership between Josh Craven and Sam Sitch put the game right back on a knife-edge in the final few overs. But a timely return to first team cricket for Cam Wallis (3-44) saw him claim the much-needed final two wickets as the hosts were dismissed just 23 runs short of their target in the 47th over.

Bridgnorth II (157) lost to Alberbury (160-3) by seven wickets

Bridgnorth’s second string fought hard to recover from an early batting collapse, but were ultimately well-beaten by visitors Alberbury at Cricket Meadow.

The welsh border team’s bowlers were excellent early on after the hosts chose to bat first, as early accuracy and movement saw Bridgnorth collapse to 58-7, with only Rob Hughes (27) and Peter Thompson passing double figures. However, Niall McAdam combined with Toby Hughes to put on 95 runs for the eight wicket, with McAdam (69) growing in confidence to put away the bad ball, whilst Hughes (30) called on all his experience to accumulate at the other end.

After the pair enabled the home the side to finally reach a seemingly par total of 157 off 45 overs, Hughes was once again the star of the show with the ball, taking three wickets in an impressive opening burst to put the game in the balance at 41-3. Bridgnorth continued to push, but the key fourth breakthrough ultimately proved a step too far for a bowling attack missing some regular key players, as an unbeaten 119-run stand between Michael Crawshaw and visiting captain Sam Morris took Alberbury to victory with three overs remaining.

Bridgnorth III (161-6) lost to Acton Reynald (163-4) by six wickets

The third team put in a typically battling performance on Saturday but visitors Acton Reynald ultimately came out on top in the run chase.

Asked to bat first, Bridgnorth slumped to 40-4 early on despite cameos from skipper Ashley Bowler and Henry Roberts. But Jon Garbett (37) and Guy Black (63) combined in superb fashion to produce an 82-run partnership to drag their side back into the game.

But the visitors made a confident start in the chase, and despite Ben Cresswell snaring the wicket of opener Galbraith, Acton Reynald’s top order took firm control as Ian Fox hit an unbeaten 83. Young legspinner Arjun Cherukuri continued to build in confidence to take 2-33 in the latter stages, but the north Shrewsbury side eventually reached their target with five overs to spare.

Bridgnorth IV (293-5) beat Pontesbury (139-9) by 154 runs

The fourth team surged to a convincing win at Pontesbury on Sunday, thanks to a fantastic team effort with bat and ball.

After being asked to bat first, captain Jack Welch gave his side a typically strong start with a run-a-ball 60 at the top of the order. Arjun Cherukuri then played superbly to reach a maiden senior half century, finishing unbeaten on 54, whilst father Sashi Cherukuri (41) and an aggressive Alex Bashford (47 not out) powered a late surge for the away side, finishing on a dominant 293 runs off 40 overs.

It was then time for girl power, as the parsimonious Angharad Morgan and attacking Tess Walsh shared the new ball and immediately put the hosts under pressure in the run chase, with Walsh picking up a wicket in her first over. Jenson Caine (2-24) and Cherukuri (3-27) then bowled excellently in tandem to run through the Pontesbury middle order as Bridgnorth took firm control of the game.

Despite a late counter attack from James Haigh (68), Bridgnorth comfortably saw off the threat in their 40 overs in the field, as home side finished well short in the chase.

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