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Manor start season with win

1st XI
Warwickshire Premier League
Bablake 143 all out
Aston Manor 147-8

After winning the toss at Church Road, Manor asked the visitors to bat first and were delighted with their decision as Arfan Khan, in a superb opening spell, grabbed three early wickets with only five runs on the board. Despite being supported by some excellent bowling from Aurel Kirnon (12-3-22-2), Manor failed to keep up the intensity of their early cricket as Bablake slowly reasserted themselves into the match built around a solid innings from Guy Eames (35). The introduction of the impressive spinner Shaun Findlay (4-18) saw Manor regain the initiative, but some late hitting from Daniel Brooks (25no) saw Bablake reach a total of 143 before they were finally dismissed.

Manor openers Aadil Bhayat (29) and Kamran Zaman (18) took good advantage of some early wayward bowling by the visitors seam attack to put the hosts well in control. However, the introduction of slow bowlers Steve Swaffield (3-24) and Thomas Cowley (3-35) completely changed the complex of the match. Despite useful contributions from Shaun Findlay (24) and Shozab Haider (23) Manor slumped from 54-0 to 124-8 through a mixture of poor shots and three very disappointing umpire decisions . It was left to the experienced duo of skipper Jason Furnell (12no) and Arfan Khan (11no) to finally see Manor through to a tense victory.

Whilst it was important to start the season with a win, an improvement in all aspects of the game will be required if Manor are to achieve their ambition of an immediate return to the Birmingham League.