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Manor lose tense and exciting finale

1st XI
Birmingham League Division Three
Aston Manor 172 all out
Fordhouses 174-9

An early season meeting between two of the favourites for promotion this season ended with the home side securing a narrow victory in a tense and exciting finale.

Despite some fine batting from Shaun Findlay (41), Manor struggled against the excellent seam attack of Aatif Ali (3-17), Ruhan Pretorias (3-22) and Chris Guest (2-34). Findlay was in very impressive form and when he was joined by ex-England international Phillip deFreitas the visitors started to take control of proceedings. DeFreitas showed his undoubted class with a tremendous innings of 61, but once he was dismissed Manor’s tail folded to leave them all out for 172 from 40.1 overs.

Manor would have still been confident in defending that total on a wicket that definitely assisted the bowlers but got off to an erratic start with the ball as the hosts cruised to 58-1 despite some splendid bowling from Ashlan Shahid who finished with 2-41. With deFreitas unable to bowl it was Manor’s spinners James Harris (3-30) and Shaun Findlay (3-39) who brought the visitors back into contention. Both bowled superbly as the hosts were at one stage reduced to 120-6. Kieran Carroll (1-15) bowled with pace and aggression to keep the pressure on Fordhouses and with the score on 170-9 he produced a false shot from the batsman which resulted in a catching opportunity to win the match. Unfortunately the catch wasn’t held and the ball went for 4 runs to give the hosts victory. On such moments games are decided but it was nevertheless an encouraging performance from the Perry Barr based team.