By Liam Moakes 28/08 Updated: 29/08 09:23
PERSHORE picked up two crucial Worcestershire League Division One victories over the weekend to maintain their title and promotion chances.
Saturday's four-wicket win over visitors Redditch was followed by a seven-wicket success at Coombs Wood on Monday and the results saw second placed Pershore gain eight points on leaders Worcester Nomads over the weekend, leaving The Bottoms outfit 11 points off the summit with two rounds of fixtures remaining.
Tomorrow Pershore entertain bottom placed Colwall in a match which could see the visitors relegated, whilst Nomads host a Redditch side still not safe from the drop.
After winning the toss on Monday, Pershore captain Chris Ridings asked the home side to bat on a greenish looking pitch surrounded by a very wet outfield.
His opening attack of Luke Dalley and Tom Pilling justified his decision as they ripped through the Coombs Wood top order and left the home side reeling at 37-5.
The lower order attempted to retrieve the situation but, with Pilling getting considerable movement and bowling unchanged and Dalley returning to the attack, the Coombs Wood innings closed on a disappointing total of 84 as Pilling and Dalley each took five wickets.
The main threat to Pershore was the forecast of rain so David White set about the required total with relish and scored a blistering 51 from just 48 balls.
It was then left to Sean Jenkins, in his role as finisher, to smash 15 from just six balls to see Pershore reach 88-3 from just 14 overs as the threat of rain materialised into a heavy storm.
Ridings also won the toss at home to Redditch on Saturday and asked the visitors to bat on a wicket which looked good for bowling.
Despite an opening stand of 45 between Luke Davis (26) and Tom Field, scoring was very difficult.
Dalley then removed both openers and wickets then fell at regular intervals to Pilling and Lee Wilks as Redditch were bowled out for 127 in the 48th over, with Wilks and Dalley each taking four wickets.
After a break for rain Pershore were left with 37 overs to reach the required target. A solid innings from White (22) attempted to hold the innings together but wickets tumbled and the home side were reeling with the score at 86-5 and victory looking some way off.
With Chris Ayliffe holding up one end, Tim Smith then took control of the innings with a hard-hitting 34 from just 35 balls to see Pershore home with just two balls to spare on 130-6.
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