22nd Oct, 2019

Stratford end with defeat but 2nds beat the drop

Liam Moakes 10th Sep, 2019

STRATFORD ended the season on a disappointing note but there was joy for the 2nds.

The Panthers first XI finished the Warwickshire League Premier Division campaign in fifth place after being skittled for 110 in a five-wicket defeat at Streetly.

However, the 2nds secured their status in Division Four, upsetting Massey Ferguson at Swans Nest Lane with a six-wicket win which ended the visitors’ hopes of becoming champions.

Having decided to bat first, the first team again struggled with the bat, despite solid starts form openers James Urquhart (20), Dexter Purser (12) and Gareth Langman (10).

It was 47-3 when Langman departed but only Dan Hackett of the remaining batters managed to get into double figures with 33 off 45 balls. He was last man out as the Panthers were dismissed for 110 in 27.1 overs as Anaesh Patel ripped through the late order with 4-15 to follow Joshua Thomas’ 3-47.

When opener Mohammed Hassan fell for 34 – the match’s top score – Streetly were stuttering at 53-4 but they kept ticking off the runs to get to their target in the 33rd over. Urquhart took 2-17 and Grundy 2-25.

Stratford 2nds’ relegation fate lay in their own hands when they faced a Massey Ferguson side who began the day in top spot.

The challenge increased when Massey reached 201-6 in their 45 overs, with Srikanth Padmanabhan (56no) and Annkur Chandra (50) providing the bulk of the runs. Ben Pigott took 3-32 for the Panthers.

In reply, Stratford lost Finlay Hatch cheaply but Charlie Blake was the undoubted hero with a superb 90.

Alongside Richard Smith (36) they took the score to 66-2 and, although Matthew Leatherdale and James Harcourt fell quickly, Pigott (55no) joined Blake in an unbroken 122-run stand to get them to their target after 48.4 overs.

The result meant Stratford finished fourth from bottom, with Bedworth and Hunningham going down, while Smethwick pipped Massey Ferguson to the title.

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