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Langman profits from pin-point bowling display





STRATFORD skipper James Urquhart admitted his team could not have gone any better after they cruised to a seven-wicket victory at home to Hampton and Solihull in the Warwickshire League Premier Division.

Pin-point bowling restricted the visitors to a meagre 103 before an unbeaten half-century from opener Gareth Langman helped secure a maximum 24-point win to keep them in the top half of the table.

“I’m really pleased,” Urquhart confessed. “We couldn’t have gone any better. After 25 overs I think they were only on 60 or 70 and although we had to wait for our second wicket, I wasn’t worried because we were restricting them.

Action from Stratford v Hampton and Solihull at Swans Nest Lane last Saturday. Photo: Iain Duck
Action from Stratford v Hampton and Solihull at Swans Nest Lane last Saturday. Photo: Iain Duck

“If they were going at a rate whereby they were 150 after 25 then I’d have been a bit more worried but I knew that when the spinners went on then we could take the wickets.

“The beauty of the team is that we don’t really have a weak link with our bowling. With some teams you look to see off their opening bowlers and then cash in but for us the pressure continues to build. That makes it hard for the opposition.”

Stratford had seamer Tom Grundy back in the side and although he failed to take a wicket, his impact was not lost on the skipper.

Urquhart said: “It is so valuable having him back in the team as he adds so much in terms of restricting. How we attack is by defending almost, we build the pressure and hope that they make a mistake. That’s our game plan to a certain extent, particularly in this format. We build pressure and hopefully they give wickets away.”

Urquhart (3-8) and Sean Hopwood (3-29) were the main wicket-takers while Archie Walker and Langman took two apiece.

Faced with a target of 104 for victory, the captain sent in Cameron Stiles to open alongside Langman and although the ploy failed with Stiles falling to his second ball, Langman (50no) was solid and with contributions from Nathan Edwards (32) and the returning Chris Calcott (11no) the total was reached in the 23rd over.

Action from Stratford v Hampton and Solihull at Swans Nest Lane last Saturday. Photo: Iain Duck
Action from Stratford v Hampton and Solihull at Swans Nest Lane last Saturday. Photo: Iain Duck

Urquhart added: “It’s obviously a lot easier when you are chasing a low total. I threw Cam up there to give us a quick start because he loves to attack but that didn’t quite work although it was good for Gareth to get some runs and get us off to a good start.

“Chris (Calcott) had been struggling with his knee a little bit but we thought we’d risk it because he is so valuable, whether he’s blocking out or attacking. He has a good cricket brain which means he can do it all and he has great experience which is important.”

In Division Two of the Warwickshire League, Studley lost by 91 runs at Smethwick 2nds where Dan Taylor top scored with 42 and there were three wickets apiece for Charlie Bass and Ollie Harris.

And Earlswood suffered a seven-wicket defeat at home to Pak Shaheen with Alex Laud leading the way with 36 for the Watery Lane outfit.



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