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Manor lose opener but there are many positives

Birmingham League Division Three1st XI
Aston Manor 208 all out (40.2 overs)
Stourbridge 209-7 (65.1 overs)
Stourbridge won by 3 wickets

With most Birmingham League grounds unplayable it is great credit to Manor grounds man Phil Shaw that a full game was able to take place on the opening day of the season at the Colin Smith Memorial Ground in Church Road.

Unfortunately the damp and cold weather seemed to affect the Manor lads in the field as several dropped catches meant they missed a great opportunity to make an early statement of intent in their push for promotion.

After being asked to bat in difficult conditions the hosts recovered from the loss of two early wickets with an excellent partnership between Irfan Saroop (66) and debutant Oronde Bascombe (46). Both players showed admirable timing on such a slow wicket but after they were dismissed other batsman found life much more difficult and Manor were reliant on a fine last wicket partnership between skipper Jason Furnell (31) and Mickey Bromhall to finish on a very competitive total of 208 from only 40.2 overs.

The key to this match though was going to be that Stourbridge had Manors unused overs giving them 69 overs to bat.Manors experienced opening attack of Arfan Khan (2-59) and Aurell Kirnon (1-19) bowled with great accuracy and after the first twenty overs the visitors had limped to 16-1. However, their patience was to pay off through a splendid innings of 115no from Josh Banks although he was assisted by Manor dropping him on no fewer than five occasions. Fielding conditions were extremely difficult but it is an area of the game in which Manor are going have to improve if they are to be serious promotion candidates.

Young Brinda Phaghura (2-48) and overseas spinner Armadeep Sonkar (2-53) were the other wicket takers as Stourbridge finally reached their target after a marathon 65.1 overs.

Despite defeat there were a lot of positives to take out of this performance, but the batsman must be more patient and use up more overs and the fielders must hold their catches.