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Winning Draw In Thriller

Following the win on Saturday, Manor were hoping to accumulate more points in the second half of their bank holiday double-header against Worcestershire based sides.

Evans won his third toss in a row, and decided to have a bat following a lacklustre warm-up! The decision paid dividends early on, as the Squirrels recorded their first opening partnership of 50 of the 2009 season, with Jamiel (28) and young Chris ‘Oxo’ Whittock (36) before running himself out!

Manor continued steadily with valuable contributions coming from most batsmen, Prichard (13), Viljoen showed more promise with an innings of 21 and Ansari batted well for 22. Skipper Evans was the biggest contributor with an innings of 76, before being bowled trying to push the score along, and it was left to Haider (28*) to bludgeon the weary OE’s bowling, supported by Sehmbi (11*), to take the Manor to an impressive 260-7 off 55 overs.

OE’s began their chase very steadily, reaching 62 before an excellent direct hit from Ilyas brought the first wicket. Runs were drying up, but opposition captain Simon Macey continued to find the boundaries as their score was creeping up. Some fine hitting by him and partner at the crease Jamie Alford (21) edged OE’s close to the worried Squirrels’ total. A combination of some loose bowling and poor fielding took OE’s to 250-5 with two overs remaining. There appeared to be only one winner with OE’s having the game nearly tied up until Ilyas (2-72) took two quick wickets and some suicidal running, and accurate and quick bowling from Viljoen (3-51) left OE’s on 258-9 with two balls remaining. Four results were still possible, and the penultimate ball whistled passed the off stump, before the number 11, Lockwood, received instructions from his captain to block the last ball which meant the Squirrels somehow picked up the winning draw, with maximum bonus points (16).

OE’s captain was stranded on 154* after a fine performance being in for the whole innings. Manor showed great character to fight back to secure the winning draw, however, it should never got so close, and will really need to tighten up our bowling and fielding in the future.

Nevertheless, an encouraging performance with the bat, and 36 points from the tricky bank holiday weekend sees the Squirrels up to second in the table, and sets us up for our next game a Church Road this coming Saturday against leaders Brockhampton who have won every game thus far.