STRATFORD will be seeking to make it five wins from five – and showcase their title credentials in the process – when they visit Walmley in Saturday’s match of the day in Warwickshire League Division One.
Stratford rattled up a fourth victory in a row with a two-wicket success at Coventry side Standard last weekend to remain third in the table, seven points behind second-placed Walmley and 20 behind leaders Bedworth.
Despite missing injured bowling ace Tom Grundy, the Panthers skittled out Standard for just 105 but then needed to hold their nerve as five wickets fell for only four runs in the ‘nervous nineties’ to finally get home in the 27th over.
Stratford’s five-strong bowling attack all took wickets after they won the toss and put the hosts into bat.
Sam Douthwaite led the way, taking the first three wickets to fall and snapping up 3-22 off ten overs.
Skipper Dexter Purser claimed 3-21 and Ben Pigott 2-18 and there was also a wicket apiece for Archie Walker and James Urquhart.
Jamie O’Hara top-scored for Standard with an unbeaten 23.
In reply, Stratford opener John Price provided a solid foundation with 46 off 62 balls and they looked in control at 94-3.
However, Gareth Langman’s departure signalled a collapse as Pigott, Walker and Scott Austin all fell in rapid succession as Thomas Kidd took 3-40 before Urquhart steered them home.
Stratford 2nds’ batters also found themselves under pressure as they lost by 118 runs at home to Leamington Khalsa in Division Four.
Anirudh Gupta top-scored with 69 not out as the visitors, having decided to bat first, reached 257-6 in their 50 overs. Josh Hickman (2-31) was the pick of the bowlers.
Nick Jones (54) and skipper Harry Abell (20) gave the Stratford innings a positive start but only James Harcourt (19) and Hickman (16no) then managed to hang around for any time as wickets tumbled and they were all out for 139 after 35 overs.
The 2nds are at home to Castle Bromwich at Swans Nest Lane.
Stratford Bards were swept aside by hosts Claverdon in a seven-wicket defeat in Cotswold Hills League Division Four.
Skipper Will Noble top-scored with 15 as the Bards were skittled for 68 – Bijo Mathew taking 4-9 – before Claverdon eased to their target at 71-3 in the 16th over.
The Bards meet visitors Fladbury at Alscot Park on Saturday.