CRICKET - Bedworth beaten by defending champions Stratford - The Coventry Observer

8th Aug, 2022

CRICKET - Bedworth beaten by defending champions Stratford

BEDWORTH came back  down to earth with a bang following two consecutive wins as defending Warwickshire Premier League champions Stratford romped to an eight-wicket win at Swan’s Nest Lane, writes Paul Smith.

Abdul Hafeez top scored with an unbeaten 42 for a visiting side in which seven batters reached 15 but none were able to progress to a match-defining contribution.

As a result Bedworth closed on 197 for seven, and after grabbing two early home wickets in a promising start an explosive Gareth Langman knock quickly took the contest away from them.

He struck 15 boundaries and a six while making a brilliant unbeaten 71-ball 97 and in the company of Nick Pepper raced the hosts to the finish line in the 30th over.

Bedworth’s skipper acknowledged that his team finished well beaten on a day when little went right.

“We were second best in all three departments,” Hafeez said.

“We just didn’t click at all with the bat – although a few got starts no-one was able to go on. Our only meaningful partnership was at the end of our innings.

“The pitch offered a bit to the seamers and they bowled well on it and unfortunately in stark contrast to last week we didn’t.

“We just couldn’t get enough balls in the right areas and as a result we were never able to build any pressure.”

Max Page (31) and top-order colleagues Ryan Parnell (15), Fizz Abdullah (18) and Griegan French (22) all got starts but with the consistent Tom Grundy and Archie Walker sharing four wickets the visitors slipped to 84 for four.

With James Urquhart adding the scalps of Indy Nandra and Manbir Johal, Bedworth were a distinctly unpromising 145 for seven when Hafeez was joined by eight-wicket partner Harry Edgar.

The pair added an unbroken 52 in the closing nine overs, of which the visitors’ wicket-keeper contributed a useful 20 not out while Hafeez’s unbeaten 64-ball 42 contained four boundaries.

Stratford’s openers progressed to 41 before Johal dismissed skipper Dexter Purser for 15.

His partner – overseas pro Tyler Scroop – was then forced to retire hurt and when Waqar Dad immediately grabbed a second wicket Bedworth scented opportunity.

However, third-wicket pair Pepper and Langman had other ideas as they launched an extremely effective counter-attack to which the visitors’ seven-man attack could find few answers.

Wicket-keeper Pepper finished with an unbeaten 46, but it was Langman’s brilliant innings which dominated their unbroken 153-run alliance.

Hafeez turned quickly to spin – in the form of himself and slow left-armer Ash Cutts – but the visitors were unable to find the breakthrough required and as a result the Avonsiders claimed a comfortable win which leaves them alongside Bedworth as one of six mid-table clubs with two wins and two defeats.

Bottom-of-the-table Bablake visit the Miners’ Welfare Park next Saturday.

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