17th Aug, 2019

Sutton urges Barnt Green to keep riding confidence wave

Craig Gibbons 4th Jul, 2018 Updated: 4th Jul, 2018

SKIPPER Andrew Sutton has told his Barnt Green side to keep riding the wave of confidence to steer clear of the Birmingham League Premier Division relegation zone.

The Cherry Hill Road side have found some momentum in their previous two games, a resounding victory over Dorridge a fortnight ago backed up by a winning draw against Walsall last Saturday.

Green were inserted into bat after losing the toss but made a good start before slumping to 50-3.

However, rising star George Hargrave (94 not out) and Warwickshire’s Matt Lamb (62) steadied the ship, putting on a 130-run stand for the fourth wicket.

Green eventually ended their innings on 263-7 from their allotted 55 overs with the help of a quick-fire 25 not out by Worcestershire prospect Zain Ul-Hassan.

In reply Walsall looked as though they might snatch victory with impressive innings by Trevor Keen (63), Billy-J Cox (63) and Shoaib Akhtar (58).

However, Sutton (3-60), Ul-Hassan (3-42) and Darrel Williams (2-85) kept the run rate down as Walsall fell just short on 246-9.

“It was a great game of cricket which ebbed and flowed nicely,” said Sutton.

“George and Matt put on a great partnership in the middle period until George got himself run out which was disappointing as he deserved a century.

“Nevertheless, that partnership put us in good stead to set a competitive total which was a fantastic effort.

“Walsall at one stage looked likely of snatching the win but the spinners in myself and Zain built the pressure and it was a shame we could not take the last wicket in the final over.

“However, it was really pleasing to see the lads grind it out and find a way to grab the lion’s share of the points.”

Green will now be hoping to make it three games unbeaten when they travel to Kenilworth Wardens on Saturday.

Building up momentum is key for Sutton’s side as they approach the start of the second half of the campaign where they have a run of games against high-fliers West Bromwich Dartmouth, Knowle & Dorridge, Shrewsbury and Berkswell.

“There’s no doubting we are in a relegation battle so it is important we take as many points as possible from the teams in and around us,” said Sutton.

“Kenilworth are a good side who have an excellent overseas player but if we play at our best we have every chance to win and come away with the majority of the points.

“With an extremely tough second half of the season to come we want guys in form with both bat and ball and another positive result this weekend would give us plenty of momentum.

“We have got to keep riding the wave we have been on over the last few weeks.”

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