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Wood keeps cool as Stourbridge snatch dramatic victory
11:41am Thursday 8th August 2013 in Sport
STOURBRIDGE held their nerve to clinch a dramatic penultimate ball win over Whitchurch to keep themselves right in the thick of this season’s Birmingham League Division Two promotion race.
James Wood proved coollest man in the ground as he converted the runs which saw Stourbridge home with a ball to spare.
It signalled a remarkable turnaround in fortunes after Whitchurch had threatened to put Stour’s bowling attack to the sword.
Opening batsmen Maisnan Hasnain and Omar Ali put on 147 for the Shropshire side’s opening wicket. Hasnain making 70, while Omar Ali, brother of Worcestershire star Moeen Ali, added 74.
Stourbridge stuck to their task and restricted Whitchurch to 221-8.
Delighted skipper Richard Bradley said: “We showed great character getting back into the game. “We got both openers in quick succession. If we’d have nipped one of them out earlier, we might have had an easier afternoon.
“It was a gettable target and we paced the chase quite well.
“But then we lost a clutch of wickets just at the wrong time.”
Bradley, with 47, and Audy Alexander, who made 49, kept the scoreboard ticking over before Josh Banks and Matt Bradley, who both scored 40, got the innings back on track.
It finally came down to Stourbridge requiring four runs from the final over for victory, but matters didn’t go to plan as Stourbridge lost two wickets with the first three balls without scoring a run.
Bradley said: “Luckily when Aiden Avey got out, he hit the ball so high, that the batsmen were able to cross and most importantly it meant we got James Wood back on strike.
“He struck the next two balls for two and won the game.”
The result takes Stourbridge upto second place.
Bradley added: “I wasn’t really expecting us to be in the promotion picture this season. “I thought we would have to consolidate instead after winning promotion last season.
“But we’ve seen everybody in this league now and I believe we’re in with a chance of promotion because we’re one of the best sides”.
Stourbridge travel to Eastnor on Saturday with Bradley facing a few selection posers as Jitesh Patel, James Winders and Gregg Jones are all back in contention for places.
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