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James Urquhart takes five-for and Dexter Purser hits unbeaten 90 as Stratford beat Bedworth by eight wickets

Warwickshire League, Premier Division

Bedworth 170 all out

Stratford 171-2

Stratford won by eight wickets

FIVE wickets from James Urquhart and an unbeaten 90 from skipper Dexter Purser led league leaders Stratford to a comfortable eight-wicket success at struggling Bedworth on Saturday.

James Urquhart. Photo: Mark Williamson (49433761)
James Urquhart. Photo: Mark Williamson (49433761)

Looking to set the table-toppers a challenging target to chase, Bedworth chose to bat after winning the toss but it was not long until they found themselves one down.

Ryan Parnell scored 17 runs before he was clean bowled by Tom Grundy (3-46) and then Edward Hulbert (17) followed in similar fashion soon after, this time Josh Colwell (2-31) taking the wicket.

Colwell struck again with the score on 96, as Bedworth skipper Inderpal Nandra (32) sent one straight into the grateful hands of Nick Pepper.

Urquhart then entered the attack and his spin bowling wreaked havoc on Bedworth’s middle order, as the hosts slipped from 96-3 to 138-7.

Jamie Parnell (21), Scott Friswell (11), Lewis Noon (20) and Griegan French all perished, as Urquhart helped Stratford take a stranglehold on proceedings.

A score of 138-7 soon became 141-8 when Grundy had Ross Parnell edge one to Pepper behind the stumps.

Max Page (23) and Neil Jones (8) looked to put on a late rally, but the ninth-wicket partnership was brought to an end after 23 runs when the latter was trapped lbw by Grundy.

Urquhart then claimed his five-for when Pepper stumped Page to bring Bedworth’s innings to a close on 170 all out in the 42nd over.

Stratford’s reply got off to a solid start, with openers Purser and Gareth Langman (22) combining well to push the Panthers past the 50 mark in relatively quick fashion.

With the score on 68, Langman was the first Panthers wicket to fall as he was trapped lbw by Ashley Cutts (1-61).

Purser was in fine form with the bat and together with George Burford, they had motored the score along to 111 before the latter was caught out by Friswell off the bowling of Jones (1-25).

Bedworth’s six-strong bowling attack struggled to stem the flow of runs at Miners Welfare Park, as Purser and Josh Hickman (31 not out) forged a match-winning partnership.

Stratford skipper Dexter Purser. Photo: Mark Williamson
Stratford skipper Dexter Purser. Photo: Mark Williamson

Purser went on to score an unbeaten 90 off 100 balls, as Stratford strolled their way to 171-2 inside 37 overs.

The 20 points for Stratford keeps them at the summit of the Warwickshire League Premier Division table.

Despite Stratford having less points than second-placed Walmley, they remain top of the table because they have a better points average. The Panthers have an average of 16.77 points after 13 games while Walmley have an average of 16.36 points after 14 games.

Stratford have played a game less than Walmley because their clash against mid-table Rugby a fortnight ago was cancelled due to their opponents having Covid-19 cases.

This weekend sees Stratford take on Walmley in a top-of-the-table clash.

See this Thursday's Herald for Purser's thoughts on the big game.

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