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Tied match leaves Panthers skipper frustrated

STRATFORD skipper Dexter Purser was left frustrated after seeing his side draw their Warwickshire League Premier Division match at Bedworth, reports David Lawrence

The Panthers seemed to be cruising to their 147-run victory target but a mini collapse saw the points shared in a 30-over game.

He said: “It was a very frustrating afternoon and the game could have gone either way.

“We thought restricting them to 146 was a really great achievement from us and Tom Grundy bowled extremely well with six overs for eight runs which, in a 30-over format is just incredible.

“We then got off to a decent start only for the game to shift the other way and some of the lads did well in the lower order to keep us in it.

“It was disappointing not to win but we were happy not to lose.”

Purser was the main wicket-taker with 4-30 including the prime scalp of Jugdip Singh Nandra who top scored with 42. Also among the wickets were Grundy, Cameron Stiles, Liam Webb and Josh Bains.

The hosts had been in trouble on 47/3 before Ross Parnell and Jugdip Singh Nandra put on 78 for the fourth wicket.

Purser’s 43 off 45 balls gave Stratford the perfect start but wickets fell at the other end until the arrival of Stiles (24) and Henry Hopkins (30no) who put on a useful 37 runs for the sixth wicket.

That was not enough though and Grundy was run out in the final over as he and Hopkins chased the winning runs.

Stratford are at home to Aston Manor on Saturday for the return of red ball cricket when matches can be won, lost or drawn as opposed to those at the start of the season when it is just win/lose.

In Division Two, there was further disappointment for Studley who had another game called off, this time at home to Kenilworth. They will be hoping to finally get their season underway when they head to RMCC on Saturday.

Earlswood were at RMCC at the weekend and suffered a narrow defeat in a low-scoring encounter.

Skipper Alex Laud won the toss, put the home side into bat and found instant success with the ball as they reduced their Coventry-based opponents to 28/3, Ben Fitzgerald (2-22) taking the wickets of openers Mohsin Butt and Gaurav Kumar.

Athar Ali (25) and Rashid Mohammed (32no) then put on 40 for the next wicket before the former fell to Joe Bussey (1-24) and Dan Empson then swept through the lower order on his way to 5-24 with Ben Cox (2-14) snaffling up the others as RMCC were all out for 94.

In reply, Earlswood also struggled at the crease with just three players reaching double figures. Opener Sandara Narotra (18) and Sohaym Maddekar (17) led the way but wickets tumbled elsewhere with John Tickle (11) the only other batsman to make an impression and when Empson was run out, the visitors were all back in the pavilion for 84.

Irfan Khan (3-14) and Yousaf Khan (3-18) were the pick of the bowlers.

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