Leaders push on with strong win

1:00pm Thursday 10th July 2014

SHIPSTON-on-Stour beat the rain and Long Itchington after their encounter the previous week was abandoned due to the weather.

The Cotswold Hills Cricket League Premier Division leaders are 37 points clear of nearest rivals Wellesbourne and look to continue their fine run at home to struggling Elmley Castle on Saturday,1.30pm.

An evening of persistent rain left a tinge of green in the Long Itchington wicket so Shipston were asked to bat first on a track that looked like it would assist the seamers.

But Shipston openers Julian Morris and Matt Corby made an impressive start and set about posting a solid total by despatching anything loose.

Corby brought up his half-century inside 17 overs and struck six sixes but fell for 62 when looking for the leg-side boundary after a 112-run first-wicket stand in 24 overs.

Jack Murphy (4) was dismissed quickly but Morris and Justin Saker batted positively with the latter shrugging off a poor run with three straight sixes on the way to a quick-fire 26.

His dismissal did little to stem the flow of runs and Shipston passed the 200 mark with five overs remaining.

They proved even more fruitful for the visitors, who smashed another 61 to take their total to 261-6.

Morris scored a superb 110, showing patience and aggression, while Marcus Ireland produced a hard-hitting 43.

Long Itchington started the daunting chase poorly, losing three wickets inside the first 10 overs.

David Saker claimed two and Jonny Walker the other to restrict the hosts to 15-3.

Mitch Lowe set about making a dent in the sizeable total with a swift 46 before being bowled by Ireland.

Long Itchington’s lower order seemed more content with frustrating the bowling attack before skipper Paul Cross brought himself on.

With the help of fine fielding from the likes of Gary Betteridge and Phil Hall, Shipston eventually bowled the hosts out for 193, winning the game by 68 runs.

The wickets were shared around with two apiece for David Saker, Corby, Walker and Cross.

Meanwhile, Broadway dismissed lowly Catherine de Barnes for just 54 in storming to an eight-wicket success.

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