Ashton edge home as title chase goes to the wire

11:40am Monday 31st March 2014

ASHTON-under-Hill scraped home against Evesham Casuals but the Worcestershire Cricket Board Evesham Indoor League will go to the wire.

Casuals just failed to shock the title favourites, who lead Bredon by two points, as Ashton scored 108-4 to pass 107 all out on the last ball.

After losing their last two wickets in the 10th over, Evesham will feel they could have won.

Openers Pete Cross (36) and Andrew Stanley (34) ran decisively between the wickets, helped by unusually inaccurate Ashton throwing and a slice of luck.

Both retired having taken 60 from the first four overs, including 35 from successive overs by Will Archer and Tom Archer.

Tom Archer had Ash Charlton caught behind for a duck but at halfway Casuals were on 75-1 and a substantial total looked likely.

Adrian Witts (11) and Mark Smith (16) appeared settled but got out in the eighth over, re-uniting the two openers in the ninth as Lee Clarke failed to trouble the scorer.

Janitha de Alwis finished with 2-8 as the innings came to an abrupt halt for only 107.

In reply, Ashton struggled to 23-3 in the third over after two run-outs.

Normal service seemed to have resumed until the retirements of Tom Archer (30 not out) and de Alwis (37no).

Ashton needed 27 runs from the last two overs with new batsmen and Dan Garland was caught off Clarke.

So 15 were required from the final Charlton over and Matt Wakefield was run-out second ball.

Tom Archer and de Alwis returned but the game looked beyond Ashton until a wide yielded a crucial run and extra ball.

Three leg byes from the last ball brought joy to Ashton and pain for Evesham.

In the other match, five-man Redditch (121-1) lost to The Boxmen (123-2) with seven balls left.

Jack Roberson (25no) and Matt Harrey (25no) opened sensibly to provide Redditch with a launchpad.

Both retired and they then lost the first wicket at 73, which brought the older players together to take on the change bowlers.

Steve Harrey (26no) and Gary Roberson (11no) added 48 in just 20 balls, including 25 from Ollie May’s last over.

But, with Redditch not having a full set of fielders, Boxmen took charge of the game early on.

Aaron Batchelor (25no) and Jason Haines (25no) put on 60 before handing over to May (15), Mike Banks (15) and Josh Tampkin (15no).

Despite two wickets for Harrey towards the end, the numerical advantage told.

Tuesday's matches from 8pm see Boxmen face Feckenham and Prince Henry’s tackle Redditch.

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