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Manor bounce back

1st XI
Birmingham League Division Three
Kings Heath 228-9
Aston Manor 231-7
ASTON MANOR WON BY 3 WICKETS

Following last weeks disappointing and controversial defeat to Worfield, Manor bounced back to winning ways with a vitally important victory away at struggling Kings Heath.

The hosts opted to bat first, and due to fine seam bowling from Imran Khan (4-51), Manor were always able to keep the run rate under control. However, Manors attempt to make serious inroads into the hosts batting line up was thwarted by several dropped catches and very sloppy ground fielding. Andrew Davies (57) took full advantage with some aggressive hitting to push Kings Heath toward a competitive total. Both of Manor’s spinners bowled well in tandem with James Harris taking 4-59 and Shaun Findlay 1-53 as they restricted their opponents to 228-9 from their 55 allotted overs.

Manor’s reply got off to a horrific start as the accurate medium pace of Chris Monk (3-23) instigated a collapse to 35-4. All four wickets fell to irresponsible shots and left Kings Heath scenting a much needed victory in their relegation battle. Not for the first time in recent weeks, Russell Guy dug in and showed the necessary application required with a well made 36 from 116 balls, and in partnership with first the fluent George Findlay (60) and then the hard hitting Shozab Haider (40) dragged Manor back into contention. Both Findlay and Haider are in a rich vein of form with the bat, and again they excited the visiting support with some tremendous stroke-play to complement Guy’s industry and composure. To their credit Kings Heath kept plugging away and taking wickets at important times meaning that Manor still required 60 from their final 10 overs for victory. The scene was perfectly set for Captain Jason Furnell (35no) to produce one of his famous cameo innings, and with impressive support from Masood Iqbal (20no), they saw Manor to victory with 5 balls remaining.

This really was a victory grabbed from the jaws of defeat, but third placed Manor will have to perform a lot better next week if they are to beat League Leaders C + R Hawkins at Church Road.