THE FEEL-GOOD factor at Stratford-upon-Avon continues to flourish after the Warwickshire League Premier Division leaders maintained their standing with a stunning eight-wicket win at Moseley Ashfield.
Captain Dexter Purser led by example, as he has done so often this term, with an excellent all-round display which included an unbeaten 83, that aided the Panthers’ pursuit of their 237 target.
With Moseley Ashfield batting first after winning the toss, Stratford’s bowlers dismissed their opponents for 236 in the 50th over.
All appeared to be going south for the Yardley Wood Road hosts when slipping to 47-4, a result of a couple of early wickets for Tom Grundy (3-27), until talismen Alex Perry (51) and John Pemberton (70) lifted spirits with a fifth-wicket partnership of 73.
After Grundy dismissed the former for his third and final wicket, middle order batsman Kasir Shah helped pick up the pieces and hauled Moseley Ashfield over the 200-run mark, thanks to three boundary shots and two maximum scores in his 50.
With the innings approaching its conclusion, Purser (3-47) and Archie Walker (3-18) upped the ante to claim some quickfire wickets and see off the hosts.
A confident start from the Panthers‘ reply was necessary, and that is exactly what they delivered.
Purser (83 not out) and Gareth Langman (33) shared an opening stand of 69 runs, and Purser then combined with George Burford (16) for a stand of 45.
Stratford were well placed at 114-2 and the best was yet to come in an unbeaten third-wicket stand worth 125 runs between Purser and Josh Hickman (52no) to see through victory in the 42nd over.
The addition of 55 extras helped Stratford’s cause to no end, contributing to a seventh victory in nine games this term.
Purser’s men now sit 24 points clear of second-placed Walmley in the table, with Coventry and North Warwick a further 20 points adrift..
Stratford will be seeking a sixth-straight league victory when they head to ninth-placed Streetly, who lost to Walmley last weekend, on Saturday.