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Manor brush Whitchurch aside

1st XI
Birmingham League Division Three
Whitchurch 208 all out
Aston Manor 212-2

Manor produced a thoroughly professional performance to comfortably defeat their Shropshire opponents at Church Road, and leave the team in 3rd place in the League with only four games remaining. Any small lingering fears of relegation have now been extinguished following this victory, and should Manor defeat second in the table Stratford upon Avon next Saturday, then there would be a distinct possibility of a late push for the last promotion spot.

Manor’s bowling was very tidy and accurate throughout with the spin twins of Shaun Findlay (3-39) and James Harris (3-41) being particularly impressive. The pair bowled very effectively in tandem and were largely responsible for the visitors collapsing from the security of 102-2 to 124-6 in face of the excellent pressure they had provided. Manor did have one poor period during the innings when it appeared that two dropped catches may prove expensive as Patrick Phillips (52) and Simon Dimelow (27) took full advantage to lead a recovery to 202-6 with five overs remaining. However, Rahul Bakshi then gave a master class in taking catches in the deep, holding onto three steepling efforts within two overs, to see the visitors collapse to 208 all out with the last wicket falling to a fine run out from James Harris. Imran Khan (2-51) and Masood Iqbal (1-34) were the other wicket takers.

In reply, Manor lost an early wicket but a splendid partnership between Rahul Bakshi (100) and Adam Nevitt (80no) ensured the hosts cruised through to victory. Bakshi gave his usual display of classical stroke play, and it was very encouraging to see Nevitt grow in confidence scoring runs all around the wicket during his impressive contribution. The pleasing progress of Nevitt is yet another example of the controlled way that Aston Manor introduce youth players into their 1st Xi and the long term benefit it has for both the Club and the player.

Manor can now go into next weeks Bank Holiday fixtures with their confidence regained and no concerns about the results of the Clubs below them.