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So Near But Yet So Far

1st XI Birmingham League Division Two
Berkswell 274-5
Aston Manor 186 all out

A very strong and experienced Berkswell team proved too much for Manors injury hit young side as they clinched a last gasp victory at Meeting House Lane on Saturday.

Despite an impressive spell of bowling with the new ball from Ryan van Nierkerk (1-47) and Arfan Khan (1-49) Manor were unable to take any early wickets and the hosts built an excellent platform to post an impressive total of 274-5 from their 55 overs. Opener Neale (81) led the way with other useful contributions coming from South African Hartslief (46), young England player Milnes (46) and ex Warwickshire favourite Ostler (32no). Manors young spinners Nabeel Asghar (1-66 Sponsor – RK-SIPS Design Ltd)) and Fawad Ahmad (1-71) bowled long spells, but again lacking support in the field, were unable to quell the tide of runs.

With three of Manors middle order ill or injured the batting line up had a disjointed look and struggled against the pace of Hartslief, Milnes and ex Leicestershire seamer Brignull, although it was spinner Khan (5-61), who did most of the damage for the hosts. Darren Baker (59) played superbly for Manor and received solid support throughout, but most notably from Shozab Haider (31- Sponsor – ODC Future Thinking) and Rikki Bassi (22) as the visitors came within 3 overs of saving the game before finally being dismissed for a respectable 186 in view of the circumstances.