Cricket
Barnt Green skipper eyes success

By Jamie Arrowsmith 10/05 Updated: 10/05 17:13

BARNT Green skipper Dougie Brown is refusing to panic despite his side’s less than ideal start to the Birmingham League Premier Division season.

After the opening weekend clash against Kidderminster Victoria was abandoned without a ball being bowled, Green fell to a two-wicket defeat at Walsall on Saturday but Brown felt his side showed plenty of good qualities throughout the contest.

“It has been a difficult start to the season with the weather but it is pretty much the same for everybody,” he said.

“Conditions were far from ideal at Walsall but we had a decision to walk away and pick up five points for an abandonment or try and win the game.

“Even though we lost and only picked up four points, it was the right decision to play. It is immaterial at this stage of the season if one team gets 20 points and one gets four because if you are backing yourselves to be consistent over the season, as we are, then you will be there or thereabouts when it matters.

“We played some pretty good cricket on Saturday, particular in the second half of the match and if we continue to perform like that we’ll be fine.”

Having been put in, Green fell to 11-3 early on with Tom Freeman (5-49) ripping out the top order, but they dug in to close on 140-9 thanks mainly to Keiron Rees (47), Andrew Sutton (23) and Richard Wilkinson (22).

Walsall looked to be cruising to victory as Worcestershire’s Jack Manuel hit 49 off 30 balls (two fours, six sixes) to carry them to 70-1 but the visitors kept plugging away and wickets began to fall.

Brown (3-36), Wilkinson (2-39) and Stephen Bevan (2-33) helped reduce Walsall to 129-8 but they held their nerve to get over the line at 145-8.

“We have developed a never say day attitude over the last couple of seasons and it eas evident again on Saturday,” Brown added.

“We knew if we could break the partnership when Manuel was going so well wickets would fall and that is exactly what happened.

“I think the lads deserve a lot of credit for making Walsall fall over the line in the end when they appeared to be easing home at one stage.

“We bowled and fielded excellently in very cold and difficult conditions, it just was not to be our day on Saturday.

“Keiron Rees also deserves great credit for the way he batted, as do Andrew Sutton and Richard Wilkinson for the support they offered.

“As a side we are well placed, we have some great lads here and plenty of talent and we should go close at the top with those things in our favour.”

Barnt Green will bid to secure their first victory of the season tomorrow when they entertain a Brockhampton side who have seen their first two Premier Division games of the season wiped out by the rain.

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