DEXTER Purser produced a man-of-the-match performance as Stratford highlighted their title credentials to become joint leaders of Birmingham League Division Three.
After claiming three wickets, Purser cracked an unbeaten 76 to help crush Stafford visitors Milford Hall by seven wickets at Swans Nest Lane on Saturday.
A defeat for previous pace-setters Rugby, against Old Hill, and a losing draw for Stourbridge, at Whitchurch, meant Stratford’s win moved them level on points with Stourbridge. Rugby have slipped to third, three points behind the top two.
On Saturday Stratford will be looking for a sixth win in eight matches when they travel to Old Hill, who now lie fourth.
After Stratford skipper Chris Whelan won the toss, Milford Hall batted first but wickets fell regularly. Spinners Purser (3-16) and James Urquhart (3-30) took control as Milford Hall were dismissed for 128 in 45.1 overs.
A second-wicket stand of 39 between Aaron Afford (21) and Chris Becket (17) was the only moment of frustration for the hosts. No 9 batsman Tom Webb top-scored with 23 not out but two run outs did not help their cause.
There was a wicket apiece for Richard Smith and Archie Walker.
Purser dominated the Stratford reply as they reached their target in the 32nd over. The opener whacked ten fours and one six in his 76 not out off 79 deliveries and Declan Waddington added a more circumspect 25 off 71 balls.
Stratford seconds moved into third in 2nd XI Division Two South after defeating hosts Dorridge by three wickets.
Muhammad Dogar snapped up 4-49 and Harry Jolly took 3-41 to help dismiss Dorridge for 187 in 45.4 overs.
Stratford got to their target in 53.5 overs, with Matt Dutton, batting at No 8, top-scoring with 47 alongside other key contributions from Charlie Blake (40), James Harcourt (38no) and Adam Joseph (24).
Stratford 2nds are at home to Berkswell on Saturday.