Home   Sport   Article

Subscribe Now

Whelan hails team effort as Stratford enjoy winning start

Redditch 2nds appeal for the wicket of Stratford 2nds' Adam Joseph at Swans Nest Lane on Saturday. Photo: Mark Williamson
Redditch 2nds appeal for the wicket of Stratford 2nds' Adam Joseph at Swans Nest Lane on Saturday. Photo: Mark Williamson

CAPTAIN Chris Whelan hailed Stratford’s all-round team performance as they got their Birmingham and District Premier League Division Three campaign off to a winning start with a five-run victory at new boys Redditch on Saturday.

Dexter Purser (48) led the Panthers to 173 all out with Tom Field taking five for 25 for Redditch before James Urquhart took three for 19 to restrict Redditch to 168.

Whelan turned the match, taking the last two wickets for seven to see his side to victory.

“It was a good game of cricket and everyone played their part,” said the Panthers’ new skipper.

“In particular, Dexter Purser did really well and James Urquhart batted very well for us at the end.

“We’ve had a lot of new players come in and it’s brought an air of excitement. We’ve all worked hard over the winter and this win cements what has been done on and off the field.”

After early wickets fell to the new ball, Purser and Charlie Blake steadied the ship with a crucial partnership, which was a fantastic effort on a bowler-friendly wicket.

As spin was introduced, it became increasingly difficult to score runs on a wicket that was turning sharply and had indifferent bounce.

Stratford lost momentum during the middle to late overs, but some great striking from James Urquhart and Sam Douthwaite saw them post a competitive 174 to win.

After a poor start with the ball, which was not a shock considering the club had no cricket outdoors heading into the first game, an early wicket for debutant Ryan Theron got the ball rolling.

Once James Urquhart was introduced into the attack, he changed the game with an exhibition of finger spin bowling, sharp turn and bounce that was too much for the Redditch batsmen.

A shock introduction into the attack of Gareth Langman, bowling his own miserly style of off-spin, increased the run rate and put Redditch under increasing pressure.

It went down to the wire, with Redditch needing six runs with one wicket remaining from the last over.

Purser then took a one-handed screamer at long off to seal victory.

A real team effort with the ball saw the wickets shared around (Urquhart 3, Douthwaite 2, Whelan 2, Theron and Brooker).

Stratford are back on the road again this weekend when they take on Rugby (12pm).

Team: Chris Whelan (c), Declan Waddington, Charlie Blake, Jonathon Brooker, Sam Douthwaite, Josh Hickman, Gareth Langman, Archie Walker, Dexter Purser, Ryan Theron, James Urquhart.

Meanwhile, Stratford 2nds (151-9) made it a weekend double with a one-run success over Redditch 2nds (150) at Swans Nest Lane.

The Panthers won the toss and elected to put the visitors in first. A fantastic opening spell from Harry Jolly (3-20) and Richard Smith (1-30) had Reddich at 6-4 from as many overs.

A well-structured recovery from Hussain (56) and Eley (33) took the visitors out of trouble, before spinners Matt Dutton (3-12) and Harry Abell (1-16) tied down any fightback, with Reddich eventually being dismissed for 150.

Stratford’s reply was littered with the frequent loss of wickets.

Only opening batsman Adam Joseph could occupy the crease for any notable amount of time, making a well struck 50.

The game looked to be slipping away from Stratford at 130-9, but George Dick (13no) and Harry Jolly (8no) brought the game home for the hosts, crossing to gain the winning run on the last ball of the innings.

“It was really good to get off to a winning start,” said Stratford skipper Harry Abell.

“We’ve had a big shuffle round in the club with some old and new faces appearing, so it was great to get the first win under our belts.

“We tried our best to let the game slip away from us, but just about clawed it back at the end.

“In recent seasons we wouldn’t have had the fight to get there, but it’s a fantastic credit to the lads for bringing it home.”

The Seconds are at home again this weekend, against Rugby (12.30pm).

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More