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Massive turnaround for the 2nds

2nd XI
Birmingham League Division Two (South)
Handsworth 316-5 (45)
Aston Manor 267-3 (37 )

Despite the extremely difficult conditions Manor’s bowling and fielding performance was nevertheless dreadful. Of the bowlers, only Trent Turner (2-43) and Shaun Carroll (1-47) came out with any credit and no fewer than 7 catches were put down in the field as the hosts ended on 316-5 from their full 45 overs.

After some heavy rain the visitors were set a revised total of 267 from 39 overs.

Manor’s disposition was not improved with the dismissal of both openers cheaply. However, from this point fortunes changed for the Perry Barr based side. A brilliant partnership between Adam Nevitt (129 no) and Shozab Haider (61) turned the game for the first time in their favour. Haider looked in good order and gave great assistance to Nevitt who gave a quite superb exhibition of stroke-play all around the wicket. Andrew Forman then smashed a belligerent and unbeaten 27 to help ensure that Manor reached their target with 2 overs still to spare. It was an amazing turnaround in a game in which Manor had always been second best before Nevitt and Haider’s fantastic partnership.

Disappointing result against Handsworth

1st XI
Birmingham League Division Three
Handsworth 289-6
Aston Manor 201 all out

Aston Manor’s recent run of improved results came to an abrupt end with an abject display at Church Road.

Manor were poor in all three disciplines of the game as Handsworth ran out comfortable victors.

The visitors total was built around an excellent knock from Mavarick Perry (98). Dwayne Crossgill (60) gave him good support and Bevon Brown (48no from 29 balls) provided late impressive impetus.

James Harris (1-41) was the pick of a very disappointing bowling performance from Manor although in their defence the bowlers received little support from a dreadful fielding performance. Imran Khan (2-46), Sahal Malvernkar (1-41) and Shaun Findlay (1-47) were the other wicket takers.

Manor’s reply got off to an encouraging start with Shaun Findlay (39) and Byron Wyngard (26) ensuring the hosts were always up with or ahead of the asking rate. Phillip DeFreitas (71) continued the good work with a class innings and the run rate required never looked a problem. However, Manor just kept on losing wickets with some quite reckless batting. The requirement was for a batsman to knuckle down and occupy the crease in partnership with DeFreitas, but unfortunately no one was able to do that and Manor were dismissed for a disappointing 201 with 12 overs still remaining!

Depleted 2nds lose

2nd XI
Aston Manor 226-9
Eastnor 227-4

A heavily depleted Manor side were well beaten under the shadow of the impressive Eastnor Castle.

All of Manor’s top five batsman got starts but only Adam Nevitt (63) and Abdul Rahim (61) were able to make significant contributions with both players batting extremely well. Unfortunately the other three, Trent Turner (20), Shozab Haider (20) and Waqas Younis (16), all looked in decent form but were unable to convert their starts, and once they were all dismissed Manor struggled badly and were restricted to a below par 226-9.

The hosts had no problem overhauling that total for the loss of only four wickets which were shared between Craig Reynolds, Avon Turner, James Rumsby and Trent Turner.

Upturn in results continues

1st XI
Eastnor 253-8
Aston Manor 255-5

Aston Manor continued their recent upturn in results with a well-earned victory against their Shropshire opponents at Church Road.

After being restricted to 90-5 the visitors recovered well on the back of a superb unbeaten century from their overseas professional Atiq Ur Rehman who contributed 123 not out in Eastnor’s final total of 253-8.

Overall Manor performed well in the field and their wickets were shared between Sahal Malvernkar (3-52), Byron Wyngard (3-57) and Shaun Findlay (2-51).

Until recently Manor’s own overseas player, Byron Wyngard, had been having a difficult season with the bat. Last week he scored his first ton of the season and the South African followed that up with a superb 127 to provide the platform for Manor’s run chase. Phillip DeFreitas chipped in with an attractive knock of 42 before George Findlay (38no) ensured victory with two overs and five wickets to spare.

Manor draw against Berkswell

2nd XI
Birmingham League Division Two (South)
Berkswell 224-8
Aston Manor 159-7

With Steve Knowles (3-30) excelling Manor made a very positive start with the ball reducing Berkswell to 22-4. However experienced opener James Neale (103) showcased his undoubted ability and supported by some fine late hitting from former Warwickshire player Jamie Spires (47) the visitors reached 224-8 from their 50 overs. There was another encouraging performance from pace-man Avon Turner (2-52) with the ball.

Like the visitors Manor also had major problems with the new ball slumping to 18-4 before skipper Trent Turner steadied the ship with a very patient innings remaining unbeaten on 39. Shozab Haider (44) and James Whittock (22) attempted to give some impetus to the hosts reply, but in truth. unlike their opponents, they were unable to fully recover from the loss of four early wickets and finished on 159-7 to ensure a draw.

1sts salvage draw

1st XI
Birmingham League Division Three
Astwood Bank 368-6
Aston Manor 246-8

Aston Manor managed to salvage a credible draw out of a match that the hosts had dominated throughout on the back of a superb double century by former Derbyshire county player Stephen Adshead.

Adshead (200) and his opening partner Ryan Blakemore (71) put on 206 for the first wicket and it was always an uphill struggle for Manor’s bowlers from that point onwards.

Shaun Findlay (4-66) did pick up some late wickets, but Astwood Bank were still able to amass a huge total of 368-6 from their 55 overs.

Although it was a flat batting track with one very small boundary it was always going to be a tall order chasing down such a total.

After the loss of an early wicket, it was to Manor’s credit that they continued to go for an unlikely victory.

South African Byron Wyngard (116) finally showed the sort of form that he is capable of in a splendid partnership with youngster Sahal Malvernkar, who was very unfortunate to be run out on 49. Their partnership gave Manor a glimmer of hope of an amazing victory especially with Phillip DeFreitas (22) looking in ominous form. Unfortunately as the visitors tried to accelerate a clutch of wickets fell leaving Kamran Zaman and Jason Furnell to bat out the final overs to ensure a draw.

Disappointing loss for the 2s

2nd XI
Birmingham League Division Two (South)
Aston Manor 166-9
Dorridge 168-9

Despite this being a very exciting game of cricket, Manor will be very disappointed with their overall performance which seems to now resign them to mid-table mediocrity whereas two weeks ago a genuine chance of promotion seemed a possibility.

The teams strength for the first half of the season was undoubtedly their batting, but over the last couple of games this has been the department which has let them down. Holidays and 1st XI calls haven’t helped, but a score of 166-9 was always unlikely to be adequate even against a struggling Dorridge side. Sahal Malvernkar (47) was top scorer and he received solid support from Abdul Rahim (30), Craig Reynolds (27no) and Trent Turner (25).

It was to Manor’s bowlers credit that they came so close to victory with Avon Turner (4-28) and James Harris (3-26) in particular excelling but a fine unbeaten 57 from Sam Smith saw his side through to a rare victory.

Manor finally back to winning ways

1st XI
Birmingham League Division Three
Worfield 224-9
Aston Manor 228-8

Aston Manor finally got back to winning ways, but not before they had subjected the large crowd at Church Road to a highly tense finish!

Worfield looked likely to set Manor a large and challenging total as they reached 158-3 with Patrick Butler (82) looking in ominous form. To their credit Manor’s bowlers stuck to their task, and once Butler was dismissed, they were able to restrict the visitors to a manageable total of 224-9 from their 55 overs. Young pace-man, Kieran Carroll (17-2-55-3), was excellent maintaining his speed and aggression throughout his long spell whilst Byron Wyngard (11-2-31-2) kept a tight grip on proceedings with his accurate medium pace bowling. Phillip DeFreitas, who bowls off spin these days, picked up 3-72 whilst the other wicket taker was Imran Khan 1-28.

Despite a battling innings from Tom Caulfield (23) Manor’s reply was at a crossroads when Russell Guy joined ex England international DeFreitas at the crease. Guy (36) showed great determination and application in partnership with the classy DeFreitas to swing the game in Manor’s favour. George Findlay (21) then took the mantle over with some attractive stroke play to guide Manor to a seemingly impregnable position at 205-4. However, once Findlay was out then DeFreitas soon followed for a magnificent 98, panic set into the Manor ranks! Several weeks without a win has obviously drained confidence, as the hosts slumped alarmingly to 219-8 before Imran Khan (11no) finally settled the nerves and guided Manor to an important victory.

Hopefully Manor will be able to use this victory as a springboard to better results and a more healthy league position!

Over 40s are finalists after beating Water Orton

The Over 40s entered the third semi-final in four years having lost the previous two.

Water Orton won the toss and invited the Manor to bat on an excellent track in the evening sun. Simon Bowen worked the field and also hit regular boundaries before departing at the half-way stage on 34. Austen Imber followed shortly afterwards for 50. Rob Bartlett then suffered similarly to Bowen’s fate with another contentious lbw decision from the home umpire. Hard-hitting knocks from Aurrel Kirnon with 25 and Loky Perera with 18 both included sixes into the pavilion. Barry Holbutt also impressed with late runs as the innings ended on 168-8.

Kirnon’s opening four overs for 15 held Water Orton back, including an early wicket, helped also by David Bond’s tight two overs. After Martin Rose further restricted the run rate, including another victim, Shashi Thakor bowled economically and also took two vital wickets. The Manor’s high energy fielding cut off twos and fours, in particular due to the excellent boundary fielding of Bartlett, Bowen, Perera and Matt Buttle. Chris Wooding’s tidy display behind the stumps included key dismissals. The limited fielding lapses with dropped catches, albeit some difficult, unfortunately only benefitted Water Orton’s dominant opener who continued to challenge the total. However, Imber’s final four overs, and Bond’s final two, were economical with a wicket apiece, meaning the hosts fell short on 142-6.

2nds Promotion Hopes Alive and Kicking

2nd XI
Birmingham League Division Two (South)
Sutton Coldfield 167 all out
Aston Manor 168-5

Another fine performance at Church Road saw Manor keep alive their hopes of promotion.

Manor’s bowling was impressive and accurate throughout, and the bowlers were supported by an energetic performance in the field which saw all ten wickets falling to catches! Steven Knowles (4-47) and Craig Reynolds (3-46) were the pick of the bowlers with Sahal Malvernkar (2-20) and Shaun Carroll (1-37) grabbing the other wickets. Tom Wright (54) showed great application with the bat for Sutton.

However, the wicket was not the usual batting paradise expected at Manor, and in the face of some testing bowling the hosts found themselves in a little trouble at 41-4. This season though the 2nd XI have tremendous depth in their batting and skipper Trent Turner (45no) led the revival with a typical organised and patient innings. Shozab Haider (40) gave his Captain quality support before some dynamic hitting from James Whittock (30no) saw Manor through to an ultimately comfortable and crucial victory.