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Teenager Shah takes hat-trick to keep Stour in hunt
1:30pm Thursday 6th September 2012 in Local Sport
A STUNNING hat-trick from teenager Ali Shah kept Stourbridge in the Birmingham League Division Three promotion hunt.
The 16-year-old, playing only his second game for the club, knocked over the final three wickets with his first three balls as Stour claimed a 30 run win at Wednesbury to stay third in the standings with two games to go - 12 points off the top two.
Skipper Richard Bradley now takes his side to Penkridge on Saturday with spirits high.
He said: “It’s been an interesting few weeks where we’ve rode our luck at times but picked up some good wins.
“The teams around us seem to be stumbling somewhat and we know if we win these last two games we’ll put ourselves in with a great chance.”
Saturday’s was a hard fought win from the moment Bradley lost the toss and saw his side put in.
The run rate barely exceeded two runs an over as Steve Game (15) and Matt Bradley (10) put on 21 for the first wicket before the former was caught in the covers.
Audy Alexander managed to speed up the scoring and was involved in a key partnership of 48 for the fourth wicket with Bradley while final wicket pairing of James Winders and Shah put on 21 as Stour were all out for 161. Neil Whistance claimed 6-53 for the hosts.
Stourbridge’s opening pair of Matt Bradley and Jitesh Patel quickly caused problems for the hosts, removing the top four for a combined total of just 12 runs.
Jamie Green and Carl Baker then steadied the ship with a partnership of 51 for the fifth wicket, the former top scoring with 56.
Stour kept plugging away but the hosts still looked likely to grab the losing draw as the innings entered the final four overs, when Bradley brought on Shah.
Three balls later, the game was over as he removed Bal Matharu (14), Jamie King and Rishi Khokani before being carried from the field by his joyous team-mates.
Bradley said: “It was a tremendous achievement.
“Ali is a very promising young player who was asked to bowl in a pressure situation but he showed no fear.
“It’s got to the stage of the season where you take certain risks in games.
“We didn’t want them blocking out for the draw so we kept the field in the whole time, making sure they stayed interested in the total.
“It certainly paid off.”