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Manor promotion hopes dealt a blow

1st XI
Birmingham League Division Three
Aston Manor 260-9
C & R Hawkins 261-5

Despite a superb century from Rahul Bakshi (123), Aston Manor’s promotion hopes were dealt a blow with defeat against top of the table Hawkins at Church Road.

On an excellent batting surface, Kamran Zaman (47) gave solid support in a fine opening partnership of 111 with Bakshi. The Indian first class player gave further evidence of his undoubted class and appeared to have provided the foundation for huge total as the hosts found themselves on 227-3 with 10 overs remaining. Unfortunately following his dismissal only in form George Findlay (33) was able to provide any impetus to the innings as Manor meandered to a disappointing 260-9. Although still a challenging total, it was way below what Manor had hoped to set considering the platform that had been laid by Bakshi. Johar Ahmed (4-44) was the pick of Hawkins bowling attack.

The visitors reply was centred solely around a tremendous innings of 153 not out from Omar Ali. Omar, brother of England international Moeen, was in complete control from start to finish as he saw his side through to an ultimately comfortable victory. Of the Manor bowlers, only the impressive George Findlay (3-42) caused him any problems during his hostile spell which at one stage threatened to drag Manor back into the game. Manor were ponderous in the field, but there was always the feeling that if they got Ali out they could go on and win the game. Unfortunately that rarely looked like happening, and there will need to be a concerted effort to get back to winning ways next Saturday against Pelsall if a serious promotion challenge is to be maintained.