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Manor hold on for crucial victory

Birmingham League Division Three
1st XI
Lichfield 220 all out
Aston Manor 221-6

The importance of taking crucial catches was never more illustrated than at Church Road when a stunning effort by Darren Baker dismissed Lichfields Kiwi Jon Bassett-Graham (81) as he was threatening to take the game away from Aston Manor. Once his tremendous innings had been brought to an end the hosts were able to assert a large measure of control on proceedings through some excellent seam bowling by Aurell Kirnon (4-39). Although expensive, Clement Smith (3-40) took crucial wickets and with support from Brinder Phaghura (2-49) and Arfan Khan (1-35), Lichfield were dismissed for 220 which was considerably less than what they would have hoped for when Bassett-Graham was at the crease.

Although Manor made a solid start with Armadeep Sonkar (24) and Darren Baker (12) and then had a potentially useful partnership developing between Nabeel Asghar (27) and Brinder Phaghura (18), no batsman was able to build on his start and the hosts were left in serious trouble at 131-6. However, a superb partnership between Clement Smith (64no) and Jason Furnell (49no) saw Manor through to a crucial victory with five overs remaining. Smith anchored the innings expertly, and Furnell produced some glorious stroke play to delight a large home crowd and keep Manor in a relatively comfortable mid table position.