By Liam Moakes 07/08 Updated: 08/08 11:25
PERSHORE were knocked off the top of Worcestershire League Division One as they had to settle for a winning draw in a thrilling rain-affected match at Worcester on Saturday.
The visitors came up just short in their pursuit of victory, although could easily have lost this match, so 14 points for the winning draw was by no means a disaster against their in-form hosts.
The new leaders - above second placed Pershore by four points - are Worcester Nomads and with six rounds of matches remaining it looks like a three-horse race for the title and promotion between the leading pair and Oldswinford.
Having been inserted, Worcester had looked out of the game at stages, but battled hard to earn a losing draw.
Jack Horton and Oliver Peppiatt (both 25) once again provided a solid platform, but they both fell as the score went from 51-0 to 60-4 either side of a short rain delay.
When young Bryn Evans joined Simon Keyte, Worcester were reeling at 87-5 with Lee Wilks (3-56) the chief destroyer, but the pair set about repairing the damage in a solid partnership of 108 before Keyte fell for a classy 66.
Keyte's dismissal to Luke Dalley was the start of a hat-trick for the returning Pershore bowler (3-55), but Evans finished on an important unbeaten 52, while Adam Rimell (16no) added some late runs as the score reached 216-8 off their 50 overs.
Pershore's reply began well for the visitors as Dave White and Tim Smith both stood firm in reaching 90-0 in 26 overs.
However, overseas bowler Jeff Case (3-33) and wicketkeeper Peppiatt combined to bring about three stumpings, including White (56) and Smith (51) in quick succession.
This brought Pershore captain Chris Ridings to the crease and he looked to be taking his side to victory, before the introduction of Rimell (3-39) saw wickets fall.
As Andy Robertson returned and dismissed Ridings (40) and Aly Duddell, Pershore had fallen to 207-9 and still required ten to win from the final five deliveries.
Unwilling to risk defeat, they settled for a winning draw and closed on 211-9 off 47 overs.
Pershore host third placed Oldswinford in a crucial game tomorrow, whilst Nomads entertain Pedmore.
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