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Manor slump to defeat

1st XI
Birmingham League Division Three
Aston Manor 135 all out
Lichfield 138-5

Aston Manor are hovering just above the relegation trapdoor after slumping to defeat against their Staffordshire opponents away at a windswept Eastern Road.

Manor were asked to bat first on a barely playable wet wicket, and in the face of skilful bowling from James Wilkinson (4-43) and Wade Van Zyl (4-22), lost both openers before a run was on the board. Shaun Findlay (23) and Andrew Forman (13) battled manfully to try and give their team a foothold in the game, but when they were both dismissed in quick succession the visitors slumped to 41-5. Byron Wyngard (37) and Phillip DeFreitas (22) then both showed great application and patience in trying to take Manor onto a reasonable total. The partnership was ended by a very disappointing decision against DeFreitas and unfortunately the remainder of the tail were guilty of very poor shot selection as they failed to support the dangerous Imran Khan who was left marooned on 15 not out.

The visitors would still have thought that 135 was a defendable total, especially after good new ball bowling by Arslan Shahid (2-16) and Imran Khan (1-22) left the hosts reeling at 18-3. However, as hard as they tried, Manor struggled to break a stubborn partnership between Thomas Stone (65no) and Wade Van Zyl (31). Both batsmen showed great determination for their team, and despite several very strong appeals, the pair guided Lichfield toward victory. Shaun Findlay (1-19) and the unlucky Phillip deFreitas (1-46) were the other Manor wicket takers as Manor’s accurate bowling meant that the hosts needed in excess of 52 overs to reach their target.

The strong wind definitely dried the wicket and made batting easier as the game progressed, and this is certainly not the first time that Manor have encountered the worst of conditions. They will also feel that yet again they have not had the ‘rub of the green’ in respect of Umpiring decisions, but these things happen in sport and the players have to show the character required to turn around this disappointing run of results.