23rd Mar, 2019

Valiant Avoncroft edged out by Astwood Bank Thirds

Craig Gibbons 27th Jul, 2017

AVONCROFT tasted back-to-back defeats as they were narrowly beaten by four runs by visitors Astwood Bank Thirds in a rain-affected Worcestershire County League Division Three clash.

Bank opted to bat after winning the call but they got off to a slow start as they quickly found themselves at 65-3.

However, a fourth-wicket partnership between David Price (57) and Paul Boycott (77 not out) pushed the score to 119.

Price and Stephen Haines (51) then guided the visitors beyond the 200 mark before setting Croft a challenging target of 258-6.

James Downing (3-36) got the lion’s share of the wickets for Croft who were set a revised target of 247 from 44 overs following a rain delay.

And the hosts got off to a good start through Matt Hare (27) and Will Sach (15).

But after losing two quick wickets with the score at 42, the hosts collapsed to 82-5.

With the game looking beyond doubt, Craig Hughes (72) and skipper Mark Whitehead (63) showed sheer determination to put on a 105-run stand for the sixth wicket before the former was dismissed.

Whitehead then departed with Croft at 240-9, seven runs away from securing what seemed an unlikely victory.

Downing (18) showed a desire to get the hosts over the winning line but with the second-to-last ball he was run out for 18 meaning Croft ended their innings at 243 all out.

Croft travel to bottom-of-the-table Himley on Saturday.

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