CRICKET - Bedworth beaten by promotion-chasing Aston Manor - The Coventry Observer

CRICKET - Bedworth beaten by promotion-chasing Aston Manor

Coventry Editorial 8th Aug, 2022   0

PROMOTION-chasing Aston Manor reversed their early-season defeat by Bedworth when they claimed a four-wicket Warwickshire Premier League success at Miners’ Welfare Park, writes Paul Smith.

This round 17 clash was the first of a six-match block of white-ball, win-lose contests which close the season and the hosts had high hopes of reversing their recent poor run of form in a format to which their line-up has historically been well-suited.

However, only skipper Abdul Hafeez and Scott Friswell made much headway with the bat against an Aston Manor attack in which Hamza Nadeem and Muhammad Wali took four wickets apiece.

This left the visitors chasing 137 and despite losing wickets to Fizz Abdullah and Hafeez, opener Faisal Shahid’s breezy 46 led them to a four-wicket win in the 29th over.

Despite claiming only two points from the contest, defeats for bottom two Bablake and Moseley Ashfield mean Hafeez’s team have a 42-point cushion between themselves and the relegation zone.

“Aston Manor are a decent side with a good seam attack,” Hafeez said.

“The wicket looked good but under blue skies we were surprised by how much the white ball moved around off the seam.

“They bowled good lines and lengths and got some early wickets which put us under pressure. Scott Friswell and I had a partnership and we hoped to turn it round but you always felt a good ball was coming along.

“We managed to scramble to 130 and having won with 120 at their place earlier in the season we had some hope if we could pick up three early wickets but unfortunately they didn’t come.

“We have to be more selective with the bat and try to get ourselves to 200.”

After opting to bat first, home openers Ryan Parnell and Max Page were both back in the pavilion with only 23 on the board.

And when Raksy Puppala and Finn Haynes then became Hamza’s first two victims the hosts had slipped to 52 for four.

A useful fifth-wicket partnership between Hafeez (27) and Friswell, who top-scored with 28, took Bedworth to 89 before the home skipper, Abdullah and Juggy Nandra all fell to Wali.

Thereafter Nadeem (4-23) and Wali (4-35) worked their way through the home side’s lower-order before eventually wrapping things up in the 38th over.

This left the visitors with a 137-run victory target to which Shahid took a very positive approach.

Although Abdullah quickly claimed his opening partner Usama Khan and skipper Bhargav Patel, this meant that Manor had reached 79 when Shahid was run out by Friswell for a 53-ball 46 containing a six plus eight boundaries.

Hafeez subsequently claimed the late wickets of Munir Tanzil (14), Naveed Zamurad (25) and Shozair Ali (0) but this bright start meant the visitors were never exposed to the kind of pressure which could have produced a collapse and they eventually eased home with more than 20 overs in hand.

Abdullah claimed 2-24 for Bedworth while Hafeez’s three wickets cost only seven runs.

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