Week Nine Bristol & District League review

STAPLETON secured a one-run home win over Pak Bristolians in a tense Senior Division contest in the Martin Berrill Sports Bristol & District League.

The visitors needed 32 off the last two overs of a rain-hit clash and came desperately close to getting there thanks to some fine ball striking.

The penultimate over of the game went for 15, Alfie Lewis also taking a wicket, and that meant 17 runs were needed from the final over to be sent down by captain Ash Birkinshaw.

The all-rounder claimed a wicket with his first ball only for Qaisar Shahbaz to then hammer the next two for fours as the game remained on a knife edge.

Birkinshaw, though, conceded just three from the next two deliveries, and despite Ismail Zia cracking the last ball of the game for four, Stapleton were left victors by the narrowest of margins. Earlier, the home side reached 154-7, Chris Phillips cracking 53 from 37 (five fours, three sixes) with Zia taking 3-32.

Pak Bristolians, who had 25 overs to reach their target, were given a solid start thanks to Taimour Warraich (40) and Syed Shah (39) before Lewis (3-25) and Birkinshaw (2-36) held firm in a thrilling finale.

This result means Stapleton stay in third place at the half way point of the season behind leaders Frenchay and Bristol West Indian Phoenix who both won.

Frenchay overcame Coalpit Heath by 122 runs in a 28-over contest, Praful Waghela (91) and Mike Donaldson (68) starring before Chare Smith took 4-17. And BWIP saw off Hanham by six wickets, Raj Chudasama hitting 42 at the top of the order.

Elsewhere, it was a frustrating day for many with the timing of heavy lunchtime downpours washing out matches with others proceeding with reduced overs.

Whitchurch, in Division One posted an excellent total of 254-4 off 30 overs at Downend 2nds who still completed a four-wicket triumph with an over in hand.

Dan Dunt (46) and Deepak Bhadri (30) spurred Almondsbury to a nine-wicket home win over BWIP 2nds in Division Two. And in Division Three, Backwell Flax Bourton nipped in by one wicket at home to Bedminster 3rds to keep the pressure on unbeaten leaders Bitton.

Bitton dismissed Blagdon for 114, brothers George and Josh Wilshire bagging three wickets apiece ahead of Ollie Fowler (37 not) wrapping up the points.

HOLDERS Pucklechurch entertain Saltford in the semi-finals of the Bateman Trophy on Wednesday when Churchways welcome Taveners (6.15pm).

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