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Walker shines with bat and ball to wrap up win

ALL-ROUNDER Archie Walker held his nerve to edge Stratford to a three-wicket victory over visitors Bedworth in the Premier Division of the Warwickshire League to keep their outside title hopes intact.

Walker proved to be his side’s star turn with the ball, claiming 4-27 from 12 fierce overs, but in the end it was his unbeaten 23 that was vital in wrapping up the win with just seven balls to spare.

Stratford fielding against Bedworth last Saturday. Photo: Mark Williamson
Stratford fielding against Bedworth last Saturday. Photo: Mark Williamson

Skipper Dexter Purser (24), Josh Hickman (23), Gareth Langman (21) and Cameron Stiles (23) all made useful contributions before Walker and Josh Colwell (23) dug in late in the innings.

Bedworth had been put into bat and opening strike bowlers Walker and Tom Grundy (1-22 off 12 overs) had them in all sorts of trouble as they slumped to 29/5. Amaan Khan and Max Page then put on 124 for the next wicket allowing the visitors to post a more respectable 172 before being skittled out in the 49th over.

Purser said: “We got off to a great start having them 29/5 but to be fair they then had two lads who batted really well and had a 100+ partnership. Conditions at first were in our favour and then the sun came out. On another day we could have bowled them out for 40 or 50 but it wasn’t meant to be and it made for an interesting game of cricket in the end.

Stratford all-rounder Archie Walker. Photo: Mark Williamson
Stratford all-rounder Archie Walker. Photo: Mark Williamson

“You have to give them credit as they made a respectable score. We thought it was 30 or 40 below par but then we made hard work of it in the second innings.

“We had a couple of overs to spare in the end. So many of us got in and scored 20s. If one of those goes on then we win the game comfortably but we scraped over the line with some good batting at the end from Archie and Josh to get the 20 points we were after.”

The victory meant Stratford climbed to fourth, 47 points behind leaders Olton and West Warwick.

The skipper added: “We have six games left and we now go back to win/lose cricket with the white ball and coloured kit. We have some tough fixtures coming up but we are confident we can win every game. There are six games with 120 points to play for and if we do that then we could be right at the top. That’s a long way off but who knows.

“We have only had two outright losses all season which is good in any season. We have had one more game rained off compared to a number of the sides. We have had a great season so far but we just need to finish it off now and get as many points as we can.”

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