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Malvern and West Malvern boost promotion chase
4:00pm Thursday 27th March 2014 in Sport
MALVERN and West Malvern both won to maintain their Worcestershire Cricket Board Indoor League Worcester Division Two promotion hopes.
City side Old Vigornians (122-2) lost to Malvern (123-4) with four balls left.
OVs' batting flourished against the town's lean bowling resources as Steve Lake took 1-14 from two overs while others were more profligate.
Osman Fiaz (29 not out) and Andy Howard (27no) were replaced by Ahsan Fiaz (27no) and Phil Mackie (17) as OVs racked up 64-0 at the halfway point.
A slight stutter as they finished their overs meant a more reasonable target for Malvern that might otherwise have been beyond them.
Ash Jones (59no) began in his usual aggressive fashion, retiring after 10 balls.
Before Andy Cullen had time to spoon a catch to Osman Fiaz, Anthony Arnold (40no) retired in the seventh over after losing Lewis Mills to a run-out.
At halfway, Malvern were on 57-2 but 31 runs came from the next two overs, which saw Lake (13) come and go and Jones return.
With the stumping of Mike Berry, Malvern’s two retirees were reunited and used their resources fully.
Jones passed 50 in another nine balls as OVs had no answers. Droitwich ‘B’ (96-4) lost to West Malvern (97-1) after going into the game a man short.
Spa, batting first, made use of all their overs and obtained the services of a substitute fielder when bowling.
Martin Woodward (45no) was top scorer and took 1-27.
Rhys John (15) and Paul Spregg (12) also contributed but again Droitwich failed to score enough runs.
West Malvern replied at a canter with openers, Kevin GIlbert (25no) and Pete O’Connell (25no), retiring before the fifth over was a ball old.
Ben Tanner (22) was the only wicket to fall as, with Rowan Dakin (19no) firing, the match wound down.
Malvern face leaders Avoncroft at the Royal Grammar School, Worcester, on Monday. Both Malvern and West Malvern have 10 points.
In Division One, Worcester Nomads 'A' are third and rekindled hopes of winning the title after beating fellow challengers Old Elizabethans by 20 runs.
Nomads scored 96 all out but then dismissed their Worcester opponents for just 76.
At 28-1 after four overs, the Bransford side faced a struggle as Andy Leach (17) was well caught and Lewis Austin (6) run-out.
Liam O’Driscoll (7) also departed but Pat O’Driscoll (21) and Matt Ormerod (12) consolidated.
Losing Ormerod to another run-out, Nomads then scored just four in the final over as O’Driscoll was out lbw.
However, OEs lost both openers in the first two overs to run-outs before falling to 26-3 from four overs.
Liam O’Driscoll and Rich Henry kept up the pressure with the ball before two more key wickets to a Pat O'Driscoll lbw and Austin stumping off Ormerod's bowling.
Henry's throw ran out the final man to bring Nomads, who face Martley tomorrow, and Cutnall Green back into the title reckoning.
In the other game, Worcester Dominies (117-4) lost to Worcester Nomads ‘B’ (119-2) with two overs remaining.