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Manors slump continues

1st XI
Birmingham League Division Three
Water Orton 175-8
Aston Manor 133 all out

Manor’s poor run of form continued with a disappointing defeat away at Water Orton which leaves them looking nervously over their shoulders at the relegation battle rather than looking for a promotion push which seemed such a possibility only three weeks ago.

On a difficult and underprepared wicket Manor’s performance in the field was greatly improved from the last couple of weeks. Imran Khan (17-12-12-2) produced a superb spell of tight and economical new ball bowling and with the impressive left arm spin of James Harris (3-28) the visitors reduced their opponents to 103-7 and appeared to be well in control of the match. Unfortunately, Manor were not able to sustain the pressure and a late flurry from the hosts saw them recover to a very competitive total of 175-8 from their 55 overs.

Manor’s reply got off to an tremendous start with both Jason Furnell (41) and Kamran Zaman (36) adopting a positive approach against the opening seam bowling attack. The pair gave Manor an excellent platform with a partnership of 70 for the first wicket, but the game totally changed with the introduction of Water Orton’s spin bowlers. Stephen Bevan (6-39) was particularly impressive as the exaggerated bounce and turn on a dry dusty track proved too much for the visitors batsmen. Only Andrew Forman and Masood Iqbal managed double figures after the opening pair as Manor slumped to a very disappointing 133 all out.

Twice in this match, once with their opponents at 103-7 and then when 70-0 in reply, Manor appeared well in control but on each occasion failed to turn their dominance into a victory. The belief and confidence of early season appears to be in short supply at the moment, but the ability is definitely there within the squad to turn around this disappointing spell of results.