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Manor Edge Closer To Safety

1st XI Birmingham League Division Two
Berkswell 254-5
Aston Manor 103 all out
Harborne 192-9
Aston Manor 193-4

Following a heavy defeat on Saturday against promotion chasing Berkswell, Manor turned their fortunes around with a superb performance to defeat Harborne in front of a large Bank Holiday Monday crowd at Church Road.

On Saturday, despite some fine bowling by Ryan van Nierkerk (4-77), Berkswell made steady progress with the bat although Manor always appeared to have the run rate under control. That was until a blistering innings from ex Warwickshire star Dominic Ostler (56no in 25 balls) saw the visitors accelerate to an imposing total of 254-5.

Quality bowling from ex Leicestershire Dave Brignull (3-28) and South African Wesley Hartslief (2-17) saw the home side reduced to 34-5 before a hard hitting partnership between skipper Peter Evans sponsored by CKW Distribution Ltd (34) and Manors own South African Ryan van Nierkerk (27) prompted a mini revival which took the score to 99-5. However when both were unluckily dismissed within the space of two overs the last five wickets tumbled for the addition of only four runs to leave the hosts a well beaten team.

On Monday, it was again the excellent Ryan van Nierkerk (17-5-39-4) who led the way for Manor as a strong Harborne batting line up was restricted to 192-9 from their 55 overs. Arfan Khan also grabbed a couple of wickets, but great credit must go to young 14 year old Brinda Phagura who in two fine spells of bowling produced figures of 11-1-32-1 which were quite superb for someone so young.

Manors reply was built around some great batting by 17 year old Warwickshire prospect Chris Whittock sponsored by Synergy Insurance Services (89) and the well travelled Darren Baker (63). The quality and importance of their partnership cannot be overstated after Manor had been reduced to 26-2. Whittock oozed class and style with his touch and timing whilst Baker was solid and powerful throughout. On the back of their efforts Manor cruised to a comfortable but very important victory with 16 overs still remaining.

With Tamworth losing both of their Bank Holiday fixtures Manor are very nearly safe from relegation and can confirm their Division Two status with a positive result away at Cannock next week.