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Manor come crashing back down to earth

1st XI
Birmingham League Division Three
Fordhouses 346-8
Aston Manor 139

Manor’s promising start to the season came to an abrupt end with an embarrassing defeat against Fordhouses.

The visitors young opener, Niall Cooper, took full advantage of an excellent Church Road track and some less than ordinary bowling from the hosts to smash a superb 146 as Fordhouses posted a huge total of 346-8 from their 55 overs. None of Manor’s bowlers were anywhere near their best, but the wickets were ultimately shared by Masood Iqbal (2-68), Shaun Findlay (2-71), Simon Mugava (2-95), Rahul Bakshi (1-57) and Imran Khan (1-47).

Chasing down such a total was always going to be very difficult, but in the favourable batting conditions it was to be hoped that Manor should be able to hold out for a credible draw. Any of those hopes were destroyed by some fine and aggressive bowling from Chris Guest (3-25) and Aatif Ali (3-39) which saw Manor reduced to a feeble 57-7 with only Rahul Bakshi (20) making double figures out of the top seven batsmen. Russell Guy (31), Masood Iqbal (28no) and skipper Jason Furnell (18) at least showed the required application to gain Manor a batting bonus point in what was a dreadful all round performance from Aston Manor.

The key is now to forget this game and work hard to get the promotion push back on track. Manor are still sitting third in the League and so they are still very handily placed for a serious challenge to get up to Division Two at the first attempt.