By Jamie Arrowsmith 23/07 Updated: 26/07 16:36
DROITWICH Spa had to settle for a Worcestershire League Division One tie at home against Hagley on Saturday when heading into the final stages it looked as though victory was a certainty.
With four wickets remaining, Spa needed ten from the final four overs to secure victory but the return of Amjad Ali into the bowling attack turned the game on its head.
He took the crucial wicket of Ian Cottrill (50) and followed it up by bowling Adam Crowle.
With S. Khan claiming his fifth wicket by having Mike Rogers caught behind, Spa suddenly needed eight with one wicket left.
Matt Biggs looked to have steered Spa home, but an inswinging yorker from Craig Bray bowled Karl Goddard with the scores level and Droitwich had to settle for 13 points.
Earlier in the innings, Spa looked to be coasting to victory as openers Martyn Davies and Stuart Bryan put on 61 for the first wicket.
Hagley then introduced the spin of Bernard Erasmus and S. Khan and they both found sharp turn on a drying wicket as runs became harder to find.
Davies ran himself out for 33 and Jerome Conner and Max Young quickly fell to spinning deliveries.
Bryan went for 47 when he top edged a sweep, but Cottrill was still there and batting beautifully, albeit with little support as the innings folded tamely. Hagley's innings started with an early wicket apiece for Rogers and Goddard, but the middle order dug in with Ali (34) and Russell Andrews (36) being the pick as they fought their way to 171.
Spa's bowling was dominated by the left arm spin of Martyn Davies who claimed his first wickets of the season to finish with 6-62.
He was well supported by a controlled display of swing bowling from Crowle, who was unlucky to only pick up one wicket in a marathon 17 over spell.
Spa will be looking to move further up the table on Saturday by winning at relegation threatened Redditch.
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