By Liam Moakes 03/07 Updated: 04/07 12:14
PERSHORE returned to the top of Worcestershire League Division One at the halfway stage of the season after easing to an 87-run victory over Hagley at The Bottoms on Saturday.
A 24-point victory was the perfect response to the previous weekend's heavy defeat at Colwall and ensured Pershore leapfrogged Astwood Bank to open a five-point lead at the summit after Bank could only muster a losing draw at home to Colwall.
However, the match did not begin well for Pershore who, after choosing to bat, saw opener Tim Smith clean bowled by Craig Bray without scoring.
David White (30) and Chris Ayliffe (26) led a recovery with a stand of 74 before both fell in quick succession, but middle order batsmen Rob Tidey (38) and captain Chris Ridings (39) dug in and helped Pershore on their way to posting 198-8 off their 50 overs.
Given the conditions this was very much a defendable score and it soon proved that way as Smith took his revenge for his own bad day with the bat by having Hagley opener Simon James dismissed for a duck thanks to White's catch.
Hagley were in all sorts of trouble at 14-3 and only James Trinham's unbeaten 27 provided any resistance as Luke Dalley (1-13 off 11 overs), Smith (4-50), Tidey (3-44) and Darren Critcher (2-1) ran riot with the ball.
Jamie Perks delayed the inevitable with a hard-hitting 29 down the order but Hagley subsided to 111 all out in the 31st over.
Weather permitting an excellent encounter is in prospect tomorrow as Pershore make the trip to a second placed Astwood Bank side featuring former Worcestershire and Gloucestershire wicketkeeper Steve Adshead amongst their talented ranks.
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