By Liam Moakes 05/06 Updated: 11/06 12:54
PERSHORE'S batsmen produced a stunning display as the then Worcestershire League Division One leaders Droitwich were defeated at The Bottoms on Saturday.
The hosts' thrilling five-wicket victory - completed with one ball to spare - saw them collect 20 points and leapfrog Spa in the table and they now sit second, two points behind new leaders Worcester Nomads in what is proving to be a fiercely competitive division.
After winning the toss, Pershore skipper Chris Ridings asked the visitors to bat and his attack found it difficult to justify his decision as Droitwich reached 150-3.
However, the Droitwich top order, after establishing themselves, never really pushed on and a flurry of wickets saw them struggling at 161-6.
Matt Briggs (48no) and Mike Rogers (20) then put together a stand of 63 and, assisted by some wayward bowling, Droitwich were able to post a competitive total of 241-8 from their 50 overs.
Sean Jenkins and Darren Critcher each took three wickets for the home side.
In their reply, Pershore made a steady start and progressed to 84-2 with Chris Ayliffe - making his home debut - playing the anchor role.
They continued moving towards the required total but the loss of two quick wickets slowed down the scoring rate to such an extent that 100 runs were required from the last 15 overs.
After Ayliffe was dismissed for an excellent 76, Ridings was joined by Sam Cross and, with boundaries difficult to come by against some tight bowling, the pair produced some excellent running between the wickets as they added 65 and attempted to push up the rate.
However, 42 runs were still required from the last five overs.
Cross' dismissal for 27 left 20 still required from the last two overs.
This task proved ideal for Jenkins as he blasted 18 from just six balls to give Pershore an exciting victory with just one ball to spare, as Ridings finished on 36 not out in Pershore's total of 245-5.
Tomorrow Pershore make the journey to face seventh placed Redditch, who were impressive winners at Colwall on Saturday and sit just 19 points behind The Bottoms outfit.
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