West Malvern stay firmly in the title hunt

Malvern (87-5) lost to Old Vigornians (89-5) with one ball remaining

Old Vigornians and Malvern produced a classic low scoring contest in this bottom of the table clash which went down to the final over. O.Vs prevailed with one ball remaining chasing 88 to win but Malvern can be proud of their effort.

Oz Fiaz was the difference between the two sides as he was a class apart, finishing 48 not out and carrying O.Vs to victory single-handedly. Only Dominic Lee (15) provided him with some support as Fiaz scored the winning runs, the last man standing.

In Malvern’s innings, four batsmen made useful contributions but never pressed home the advantage. Jeremy Pilgrim (20), James Sarkar (15), Tom Fairclough (10) and Ollie Harker with a top score of 26 not out added up to a below par score but they fought admirably until the end and if not for Fiaz’s pyro would have won.

Hallow (94) lost to West Malvern (95-2) with 8 balls remaining

West Malvern did what they had to do and beat Hallow relatively easily by 4 wickets. By doing so they ensured they lost fewer wickets to improve their average and go top again in Worcester Division Two. West Malvern, Nomads C and Martley are all tied on 10 points with one game to go. West Malvern has to face Nomads C while Martley meet Malvern in their final matches.

Hallow's openers Dave Pugh and Jez Hodson began like men on a mission pushing the ball expertly to the wall and running. Then Hodson (13) was run-out when an earlier reaction might have got him home and Pugh got an edge off Will Jones. A degree of retrenchment followed with Stu Hayes (16) and Connor Murphy until Murphy missed a straight one to leave Hallow 59-3 from 7. Hayes was run-out on 70 and it was left to Liam Wylde (14) to pick up some runs before being stumped off Pete O'Connell (2-26) with a ball to go.

On form this was not going to trouble West Malvern and so it proved. The openers O'Connell (25 n.o) and Will Lloyd (29 n.o) both completed their task and astonishing 30 wides conceded by Hallow meant that it was a stroll. Hodson (2-12) took two in his first over to offer some faint hope but it was never going to be enough.

Umpires - Gary Gough & David Pearson; Scorer - John Iggulden


Martley and Nomads C stay in the fight for the title

Martley (133-3) beat WCB Seniors (85-4) by 48 runs

Martley's quest for the second division title continued as they comfortably beat WCB Seniors in this match. The win leaves them tied on 10 points with Nomads C, who stay ahead via better average.

Ian Flower (27), James Ganderton (33 n.o) and Pete Gardner (27 n.o) all made it to retirement as Martley batting first made an imposing 133. Martin Sweet also added 22 not out late in the order with Martin Woodward picking up two wickets late on.

The seniors failed to impress in their reply with the only shining light being the arrival of first woman in the league in Worcester. Liz Dean showed she can more than hang with a useful 15. Woodward top scored for the seniors with 19 before being bowled by Alex Basford. Simon Van Togeren was as tight as ever, returning figures of 12-1 in his 3 overs.

Nomads 'C' (122-5) beat Rushwick (78-3) by 44 runs

With Martley winning the early match, the pressure was on current champions Nomads C to match the result. They didn’t disappoint and dispatched Rushwick by 44 runs to keep their hopes alive.

Jamie Oliver was the star for the Nomads side, top scoring with an unbeaten 49. There was support from Sam Jones (25) and Malcolm Jones (20) as they reached 122. Rushwick put in an improved reply than of late but they never looked like threatening to chase the target down. Nomantha Indima (23) and Stuart Parker (25 n.o) added 46 but the rate dropped alarmingly in the process, Nomads running out easy winners in the end.  

Umpires - David Pearson & Rob Murphy; scorer - Inge Bevers


West Malvern win battle of the hills, Hallow breeze past Rushwick

Rushwick (86-2) lost to Hallow (87-0) with 3 overs remaining

Hallow didn’t have to break a sweat as Rushwick failed to put enough runs on the board and paid the price. Chris Davies (14), Richard Bull (18 n.o) and Ben Bromage (26 n.o) all managed double figures but Bull took the entire innings to do it. It’s made to look even worse when wides contributed to 25 runs.

Without the direction errors by Hallow bowlers, they would have got home even earlier. As it was, it took them 9 overs as David Pugh and Jez Hodgson enjoyed a largely risk free partnership of 49. Paul Wyatt (11 n.o) and Stu Hayes (12 n.o) had the honour of taking Hallow to victory without losing a wicket, their third win

West Malvern (111-3) beat Malvern (56 all out) by 55 runs

West Malvern made an emphatic statement in this match at the expense of their neighbours from the hills. Batting first, they were never at their fluent best though partly because in Jeremy Pillgrim, Malvern had found a bowler of some pace.

Kevin Gilbert failed to get out of the blocks as he was run out early, but Pete O’Connell made 15. Matt Penkoks (26 n.o) was the top scorer for West Malvern and they were aided 38 runs in extras which included 28 wides. Will Jones also contributed 15 runs and 111 seemed beyond Malvern’s reach from their performances so far.

So it proved as though they didn’t lose a wicket until the 6th over, they were behind the rate having mustered only 35 runs. The increasing asking rate meant they had to take risks and that contributed to wickets tumbling and innings ending in disarray.

The win takes West Malvern top of the Worcester Division Two table on better average. Martley and Nomads C are also tied on 8 points so this sets up an exciting final few weeks.   

Umpires - David Pearson & Gary Gough; scorer - Phil Mellish


Martley beat Nomads C to go joint top, Seniors climb to 4th

Old Vigornians (93-4) lost to WCB Seniors (95-4) by 2 wickets

Worcestershire Seniors notched up their second victory of the season with a hard earned win over O.V.s which saw them climb up to 4th in the standings. They looked to be coasting at 66-0 half way chasing just 93,  but the lower order failed to maintain the momentum provided by openers Peter Gurr (29 n.o) and Robin Lloyd (22) and it was not until Gurr returned that victory was certain in the final over.

Earlier O.V.s progress was dented by an excellent low catch by Robin Lloyd to dismiss Chris Drew. There were far too many dot balls in their innings and only Oz Fiaz rose to the challenge to top score with 41. James Bader also (22) brought some life to the proceedings until missing a straight one, but O.Vs taking just 3 from the final over only emphasised the start/stop rhythm of the innings.

Worcester Nomads 'C' (117-5) lost to Martley (119-4) with an over remaining

Martley pulled off a brilliant win in the late game against champions Nomads C which moves them equal on 8 points with the leaders. This was a real statement of intent and it blows the league wide open with West Malvern on 6 points and having a game in hand.

Nomads have had couple of warnings before where they scraped home at the end but that was broken on the third time. Chasing 118 to win, Martley’s batting, minus the injured Pat Bibby, provided a sound base from which they could win with Ian Flower (36) and Pete Gardner (31 n.o) both retiring in the 6th over at 59-1.

Malcolm Jones’ second over kept them in check with him accounting for both Jim and Alex Basford. That left Martley at 75-3 after 8 but thereafter Simon Van Tongeren (28 n.o) was partnered by the returning retirees and they took only 3 overs to knock off the remaining 44 runs.

This win confirms Martley’s intention is the league title, though Nomads stay top due to superior averages.

Earlier Nomads innings suffered due to run outs with Roger Dixon (23), Jamie Oliver (26) and Jones (32 n.o) providing the bulk of the runs. 

Umpires - Inge Bevers & John Iggulden; Scorer Philip Mellish


Martley and Rushwick prevail in low scoring affairs

Martley (75) beat Hallow (70) by 5 runs

Week 8 saw couple low scoring but pulsating encounters which included some very optimistic running superseded by a reluctance to run at all. Both matches , which saw Martley edge Hallow by 5 runs and Rushwick get the better of Malvern by 12 runs, were effectively determined by the ability of one side to bowl accurately than the other.

In the first match, Hallow allowed Martley a way back into the game with 28 runs in wides from a total of 75 and paid for it. Martley’s less than impressive batting display was saved by Jim Basford’s sensible 17 as the last man. In reply, David Pugh (39) waged a lone battle but just failed to win the game for Hallow as the rest of the order turned their backs on him big time.

Rushwick (87-3) beat Malvern (75-4) by 12 runs

A slightly bigger task faced Malvern as Rushwick posted 87 with wides accounting for 26 runs with Chris Davies (25 n.o) and Matt Champion (16) also making useful contributions.

Compared to Malvern, Rushwick were far more accurate with during their turn to ball keeping the wides run count to 5. That proved to be the difference as Tom Fairclough ‘s 34 and Ollie Harker’s 23 not out were in vain.

Umpires - Rob Murphy & Gary Gough; Scorer - David Williams


Nomads C and West Malvern record thumping wins

Nomads 'C' (123-4) beat Old Vigornians (69) by 54 runs

The expected fight from Old Vigornians, who looked to close the gap on to top seeds Nomads, never materialised in this contest. Instead the leaders went clear with an emphatic 54 run victory but O.Vs carry some sympathy as they had a much changed look to the side.

Roger Dixon (29 n.o) and Jamie Oliver (34 n.o) gave Nomads their usual good start with the latter retiring in the 4th over. Jack Elston (17) was the first to wicket to fall for Nomads on 91 when he was LBW to Zain Hussain. Dixon retired soon after and Malcolm Jones (12), probably still tired after his marathon 74 last week, was run out to leave the openers to return.

As it turned out O.Vs failed to provide a challenge in their reply and was all out for a paltry 69. Only Phil Mackie (13) managed double figures with 22 wides the top scorer and it was all over inside 8 overs.    

West Malvern (141-4) beat WCB Seniors (94) by 47 runs

West Malvern pocketed a sizeable victory in this match against WCB seniors to go second in the standings. They recorded a demanding total thanks entirely to Kevin Gilbert (63 n.o) and Matt Pencocks’ (55 n.o) fireworks.

142 was a daunting target for the Seniors even though they prefer chasing due to their Achilles Heel being lack of mobility in the field. Bob Pittaway was run out with the score only 20, and though they were 61-2 at half way mark with Peter Gurr (36) holding up one end, it was always going to be a mountain too far to climb.

Gurr was the last man out in the final over as Seniors fell well short. Pete O’Connell bowled with pace, accuracy and a few Yorkers to finish with 16-2 in 2.1 overs for West Malvern.

Umpires - Barrie Taylor & David Pearson, Scorer - Phil Mellish


Superb Jones spares Nomads' blushes, Hallow leapfrog Seniors

Nomads 'C' (114) beat Malvern (92) by 22 runs

Nomads C were indebted to a scintillating 74 from their Captain Malcolm Jones who combined all his experience to revive his side from a hopeless position. It is also the top score of the season and took Nomads to a 22 run victory which seemed a pipe dream when they lost 5 wickets inside 4 overs.

It was the siren Jones had been waiting for and he picked up the pieces in spectacular fashion with young Brad Mason assisting him in running. He took no undue risks early on and proceeded to take the score to 84 after 10 overs before unleashing a fierce assault in the final two overs which accounted for 30 runs. Malvern seemed to have missed a trick on the way though as their chief destroyer Kieran Smith (11-2) was only given 2 overs having taken a couple in his first.

Malvern took a more measured approach in chasing, although having being caught off a no ball Tom Fairclough perished two balls later trying to repeat the shot. Thereafter Anthony Arnold (24) was joined by a new recruit, Ollie Hallion whose composure and skill belied his youth.

The pair stayed together until the 9th over when Hallion retired, but unfortunately for Malvern that started a collapse. Arnold was run out followed by Lewis Hill failing to interest the scorer and to compound matters, they failed to acquire a single run from the 10th. Final over became a formality with 27 required and Malvern could only get 5 runs from it. Hallion was the last man out for 33. 

WCB Seniors (113-3) lost to Hallow (117-2) by 4 wickets

The Seniors batting first were afforded lot of luxury as some fairly generous Hallow bowling gifted them 36 runs in wides which lifted them to 113. Peter Gurr and Martin Woodward both reached retirement and were the only batsmen to attain double figures in their innings.

Having top-scored for the opposition with wides, Hallow were required to score their innings off the bat. They were in for a cosy ride amidst gentle and slow bowling by the Seniors and Hallow made hay. David Pugh, Jez Hodson and Stuart Hayes all retired and Connor Murphy (18) looking untroubled until being run out. Hallow stayed ahead of the run rate from the 3rd over onwards and reached the finishing line with more than an over spare, Hodson returning to finish unbeaten on 36. 

Umpires - Inge Bevers & John Iggulden; Scorer - David Williams


West Malvern overwhelm Rushwick, OVs too good for Martley

Rushwick (79-3) lost to West Malvern (81-0) by 6 wickets

Rushwick batting first failed to get the start they needed, finding themselves 21-2 after 3 overs. Retrenchment, whilst noble and wise, can’t be taken too far but Richard Bull (25 n.o) and Ben Bromage (21) were heavily involved in it. Only in the penultimate over did Rushwick attain double figures, taking 15 from Matt Penkoks final effort, but they couldn’t even follow that rise up with only four runs coming from the last over from Pete O'Connell.

West Malvern were acceptably circumspect in their response, taking 11 overs to reach their goal but they never offered any glimmer of hope to Rushwick and were always in control. They didn’t lose any wickets and Kevin Gilbert and Joe Bird both reached retirement on the way.

Martley (109-5) lost to Old Vigornians (112-2) by 4 wickets

This was very competitive affair with many contributions of note from both teams, 8 players getting double figures in the process. Phil Mackie took 20-2 but Martley was looking likely to post a higher score at the start. O.V.s came back and bowled accurately giving away only 2 wide balls in the innings and the urgency got lost in the final overs. Ian Flower and Simon van Tongeren both made it to retirement and back, and James Ganderton (19) and Alex Basford (15) also added cameos which ultimately took Martley to 109.

In reply Ox Fiaz retired in the fifth over with one dot ball to his name, and after Elliot Turner's 13, Azmat Fiaz and James Bader took the game away from Martley, scoring in excess of 10 runs in the remaining overs to reach home comfortably.

Umpires - David Pearson & Gary Gough; Scorer - Phil Mellish


Nomads enjoy clean sweep, WCB Seniors get off the mark

WCB Seniors (128-4) beat Malvern (93-5) by 35 runs

WCB seniors batting first were afforded a nice platform by Peter Gurr (43 n.o) and Robin Lloyd (10) as they added 39 for the first wicket before Olly Harker trapped Lloyd LBW. Gurr continued the good work via useful partnerships with Martin Johnson (23) and Martin Woodward (21 n.o) also chipping in.

Once Gurr retired, Johnson was caught by Tom Fairclough off Anthony Arnold and something of a pregnant pause ensued. That was broken when he returned to smash 20 off Arnold’s final over.

Malvern began hesitantly with only 7 runs coming from 2 overs and that made an uphill task even more problematic. Yet, the required rate of 12 was achieved for 4 overs and except for Harker, all Malvern batsmen got in. Their downfall was poor calling which led to inevitable run outs. Arnold top scored with 21 which was supported by Andy Holmes (15 n.o), Fairclough (14) and Lewis Hill (13) but it was too little too short.

Nomads 'C' (132-4) beat Hallow (60) by 72 runs

This emphatic win for Nomads C meant that they completed a great weekend where Worcester Nomads can rejoice. Once Nomads put 132 on the board, they knew the match was over and they wasn’t wrong.

Nomads openers Roger Dixon (32 n.o) and Jamie Oliver (53 n.o) were the main contributors to their total and their stand was only broken at 47 when Oliver had to retire. An easy run out gave Hallow their first wicket at 49 but Sam Jones (15) kept the score ticking before he was the 2nd wicket to go at 80. Dixon and Oliver returned to pile on more agony and added 28 runs in 7 balls.

Needing a safe and a productive start Hallow achieved neither, with David Pugh departing run out only the second ball. Jez Hodson and Paul Wyatt looked comfortable for a while until the innings tripped up and fell flat on its face at 39 to two disastrous run outs and a duck. With the game effectively over, Hallow didn’t linger long. 

Umpires - Rob Murphy & Gary Gough; Scorer - Phil Mellish


Martley benefit from West Malvern's carelessness while Old Vigornians overwhelm Rushwick

Martley benefited from West Malvern's propensity for self harm as they surrendered after reducing Martley to 93 while Old Vigornians bounced back to overwhelm Rushwick by 62 runs.

Martley (93-5) beat West Malvern (78 all out) by 15 runs

Yet another low scoring game saw Martley's batsmen strangely out of form and it required Martin Sweet (25 not out) to resuscitate the innings and bring some respectability to their total. Rowan Dakin (1-18) and Will Jones (1-15) were the pick of the West Malvern bowlers and there were useful contributions from Pat Bibby and Simon van Tongeren with both making 18.

The odds of West Malvern notching their second victory was pretty high heading into second half but mainly due to some ill-advised calling and running, the reply didn’t go according to plan. Martley was delighted to see the wickets tumble, as West Malvern gifted them the advantage. Dakin waged a lone battle and almost stayed to the end but his run-out in the final over for 24 spelled the end for West Malvern.

Old Vigornians (142-3) beat Rushwick (80-5) by 62 runs

Old Vigornians were determined to not stumble again having lost last week and Oz Fiaz (34) began their innings as if he had a bus to catch, retiring in the 4th over. Eliot Turner (17) was bowled by Richard Bull in the 6th over with the score 57. Thereafter Chris Drew (28 not out) and James Bader (27 not out) retired having piled on the runs and Fiaz returned briefly to inflict further damage before being nonchalantly caught by Chris Davies one handed last ball.

142 was unlikely to be matched by Rushwick who found themselves in the mire early on. Three wickets fell inside three overs with Ben Doyle taking 2-13. Matt Davies (21) then settled in and Matt Champion (29) and Richard Bull (20) ensured they batted out the overs.

Umpires - David Pearson & John Iggulden; scorer - Phil Mellish


Captain Jones drives defending champions Worcester Nomads C to victory; Hallow make easy work of Malvern

Worcester Nomads ‘C’ captain Malcolm Jones made an excellent 66 and was supported by Jamie Oliver (45) as the defending champions beat Worcester Seniors by 31 runs in WCBL RGS Division Two Indoor League.

Nomads 'C' (131-5) beat Worcester Seniors (100-3) by 31 runs

The current division Two champions looked well out of sorts at the start as wickets tumbled with opener Jamie Oliver losing two partners in the first over bowled by Kevin Truswell. He lost another in the fourth over with the total only 20 before captain Jones joined in the middle.

Jones has seen many years at this game and knows a thing or two. After Oliver's retirement Nomads lost their fourth wicket at 52 for Peter Gurr's second victim behind, and Jones and Oliver were left with six overs to put things right. The cognoscenti predicted another 50 for the pair but were treated to a further 80 to set a daunting 131-5. Oliver was eventually LBW to another straight Truswell delivery for 45 while his only partner Jones made undefeated 66.

Gurr (25) started the chase effortlessly, retiring in the 5th over with the score 49 but thereafter the Seniors' innings went into the doldrums. Robin Lloyd was hesitant in running and managed only five further runs in four overs and was eventually run out for 20 in the 9th over with the score on 73. Martin Woodward, who has played this game longer even than Jones, couldn’t time or place the ball as he would have liked and the final result was an easy win for Nomads 'C' which had looked unlikely when they were 20-3.

Malvern (87 all out) lost to Hallow (88-3) with 3 overs remaining

Hallow's Jeremy Hodgson and Connor Murphy made runs difficult for Malvern, though both Lewis Hill (10) and Anthony Arnold (19) looked comfortable enough until Hill presented a return catch to Hodgson. Following Arnold's run-out in the 4th, very little was seen of the remaining Malvern batting, but their score from the bat (46) was fortunately and generously augmented with 41 in extras including 35 wides, so perhaps they couldn't reach the ball.

Hallow's reply was unhurried but always up with the required rate. The openers departed to run outs but then Paul Wyatt (25 not out) settled in with Connor Murphy (19 not out) to wrap up the proceedings with three overs to spare.

Umpires - David Pearson & Gary Gough; scorer David Williams.


West Malvern snatch victory from Old Vigornians in last ball thriller

Old Vigornians (104 all out) lost to West Malvern (105-3) on the final ball

West Malvern staged a sensational onslaught in the final two overs chasing 105 against Old Vigornians to win a remarkable Worcester Indoor League Division 2 opener at the RGS Sports Hall on Monday night.

Although West Malvern had wickets in hand during the run chase, they needed 30 runs from the final two overs to come on top. They amassed 12 runs from the penultimate over leaving 18 runs away from the target. Three leg byes, a three and a couple followed by Pete O’Connell’s boundary (25 not out) meant that he had to retire, which brought Will Jones (31 not out) back to the crease for the final two balls.

Jones, who had batted well to retire earlier, scored three runs from the fifth ball. Phil Mackie’s final ball was glanced off the pad by Rowan Dakin as they completed three runs to produce the most unlikely result.

Earlier Old Vigornians began in confident style, with Oz Fiaz (28) and Chris Drew (13) laying a great platform with 46 run first wicket partnership. James Bader (18) too looked in form before missing a straight one trying to glide the ball. With Fiaz retired, wickets fell steadily and O.V.s failed to take advantage of the good start. In their final over they lost two wickets including returning Fiaz. Dakin was the most successful bowler for West Malvern taking 25-2.

In a bizarre contest, West Malvern started poorly and accelerated as their innings progressed. Having lost Kevin Gilbert second ball to the finest of tickles, the men from the hills struggled to 30-2 after six overs. Will Jones and O’Connell batting down the order took the game on with required rate up to 12 an over.

Most bookies had retired to bed and no further bets were laid, but Jones and O’Connell presumably had money off-course. Jones batted superbly before retiring with 30 still needed from two. O.V.s must have fancied their chances with that equation, but West Malvern clearly had other ideas to leave their opponents shell-shocked.

Martley (120-4) beat Rushwick (54-4) by 66 runs

Unfortunately the drama of the first game was not replicated in the second as Martley ran out comfortable winners by 66 runs.

Martley posted a decent score, due almost entirely to Ian Flower’s brilliant half century (53 not out) and James Ganderton (47 not out). Notable amongst the Martley failures was a golden duck from Pat Bibby, which gave Rushwick early optimism. Matt Champion took 2-28 to dismiss the lower order and allow Flower and Ganderton to resume, rampaging 36 from the final two overs.

Rushwick reply was not at all what was required. From 26-4 after 6 overs it was a case of some batting practice and a later departure for the bar than might have been preferred.

Umpires - David Pearson & John Iggulden; scorer Phil Mellish