CRICKET - Bedworth slip to defeat against Stratford - The Coventry Observer

16th Aug, 2022

CRICKET - Bedworth slip to defeat against Stratford

BEDWORTH’S seam attack delivered an outstanding performance when Stratford visited the Miners’ Welfare Park, but despite the best efforts of Josh Thomas and Fizz Abdullah the hosts slipped to a 34-run defeat, writes Paul Smith.

The pair shared all ten wickets as the visitors set Bedworth a target of 218 to win this Warwickshire Premier League round 15 clash.

Tyler Scroop top-scored for the Avonsiders with 58, but it was their seam attack which in turn went on to deliver the day’s defining display as the experienced Tom Grundy and Dexter Purser shared six Bedworth wickets.

Home opener Max Page continued his fine season with 44, while Abdullah completed a superb personal performance by striking an aggressive 49 as the hosts were bowled out for 184 with three overs remaining.

This result leaves Abdul Hafeez’s team in tenth place in the table where they are separated from bottom two Moseley Ashfield and Bablake by 44 points with seven rounds of action remaining.

“It was a frustrating day,” Hafeez acknowledged.

“We have loads of potential within the side which isn’t quite clicking at the moment.

“Josh Thomas bowled superbly in the middle of the Stratford innings. He has an outstanding slower ball which picked him up four of his six wickets and his spell pegged them back after they had got off to a good start.

“Fizz also bowled good spells at the start and end so on a good pitch and fast outfield we were happy chasing 220.

“Max played well again and continued his good form and we had an outside chance while Fizz was at the crease but it was otherwise disappointing.”

After being asked to take first use, Stratford openers Purser (17) and their Aussie import Scroop (58) took the score to 51 before tall paceman Abdullah removed the visitors’ equally towering skipper.

This proved to be the biggest partnership of the innings as first Abdullah then Thomas, who was introduced into the attack midway through the visitors’ 50-over allocation, gradually worked their way through the defending champion’s batting line-up.

After Scroop fell to Thomas for a 64-ball 58, wicket-keeper Nick Pepper (31) and Gareth Langman (20) made useful contributions from the visitors’ middle-order.

However, it still required a late 44-run partnership from ninth-wicket pairing James Urquhart (21) and Archie Walker (19) to boost Stratford past 200.

Abdullah finished with 4-58 from 11.2 overs but it was Thomas who grabbed 6-42 from 12 overs that really caught the eye as the visitors were bowled out with three overs remaining.

This left the hosts chasing 215 from 53 overs, but experienced seamer Grundy soon made inroads to their batting line-up when he dismissed Ryan Parnell (18) plus Hafeez and Juggy Nandra with 34 on the board.

Finn Haynes (18) and Scott Friswell (20) then helped Page take the home total into three figures before the young opener was sixth out for a 94-ball 44 with the score at 104.

Thereafter Bedworth’s hopes rested on Abdullah’s powerful counter-attack, and while he was in the company of powerful strikers Ross Parnell then Thomas a home win remained a distinct possibility.

Once all three fell to Purser, attention shifted to whether the home tail could eke out a draw, which despite the best efforts of James Cooper proved to be narrowly beyond them.

Abdullah found the boundary three times and cleared it on a further three occasions in his 41-ball 49 while Purser with 3-26 and Grundy 3-41 were the pick of the Stratford attack.

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