September 29th, 2016

Panthers maintain their promotion charge

Updated: 12:17 pm, Aug 24, 2015

STRATFORD’S bowlers produced another dominant display as they continued their Birmingham League Division Three promotion push with a 24-point victory against Streetly at Swans Nest Lane.

The Panthers’ bowling quartet, led by three wickets apiece for skipper Mike Brown and spinner James Urquhart, all took wickets to dismiss the visitors for 154 in 54 overs.

Stratford opener Harry Adams then hit an unbeaten 54 to steer the side to a seven-wicket victory in the 37th over.

Brown’s side remain second in the table and in the promotion places, 30 points ahead of third placed Fordhouses with six games left to play.

Brown says their fate is very much in their own hands but, having let promotion slip last summer, they will be taking nothing for granted.

On Saturday, Stratford continue their campaign with a trip to Worfield.

In Saturday’s match, Brown and Tom Grundy dismissed Streetly openers Matt Hinton and Neil Curtis with just seven runs on the board.

Skipper Craig Moore (34) and Ben Griffiths (29) set about repairing the damage with a 54-run stand but Adrian Witts ended Griffiths’ defiance and Streetly’s innings stuttered.

Sam Bates (32) and Matt Bates (22) tried to keep the scoreboard ticking along but Stratford kept a tight rein on the batsmen and bowled very few loose balls.

Urquhart’s persistence ripped through the middle order as he took 3-43 off 15 overs. Brown had 3-52 off 14, Grundy took 1-16 off 12 miserly overs and Witts 2-36 off 13 overs.

In reply, openers Adams and Dexter Purser – pushed up the order – gave Stratford the perfect platform with a 67-run stand.

Purser fell for 34 off 43 balls, with seven fours, and Rob West departed for nine to leave the Panthers 86-2, but Ben Cooper’s quickfire 39 blasted them closer to the target.

Adams ended on 54 not out from a patient 123 balls.

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