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New pavilion provides the inspiration as Eastnor see off Attock
11:50am Thursday 8th May 2014 in Sport
EASTNOR skipper Clive Chadhani was delighted that the club's first home outing of the season christened their superb new pavilion with a victory.
The villagers bounced back from their defeat at Tamworth the previous weekend to open their Birmingham League Division Two account with a win over Attock.
"The new pavilion is brilliant," said the Zimbabwean.
"It has lifted everyone's mood and it's been a really great effort by the community."
Chadhani was not getting carried away, however, by events on the field.
"These first five games, which are win/lose with bowlers' overs limited, are very important for getting our team together and for getting everything to gel," he said.
"It's going to be a question of consolidation for us with our two new players Tareq Jamil and Shameer Ahmed needing time to settle in."
Eastnor lost the toss and were invited to bat first.
"The Eastnor pitch gets better as the game goes on and when we were put in, the conditions were trickier," said Chadhani.
After the early loss of Jabran Khalid, Sunil Rahi (17), Andrew Fisher (24) and Chadhani (24) chipped in with useful scores but the principal contributor was Atiq ur Rehman who put together an accomplished 58.
"We believed that 180 would be a winning total and we looked to be well on the way to that with Atiq and Clive going well," said Eastnor stalwart Malcolm Hughes.
However, the heart was ripped out of the middle-order when Ajab Khan completed a hat-trick.
"Atiq was caught at square leg, Tareq Jamil was lbw and then Shahid Ahmed was bowled first ball," said Hughes.
"That was disappointing as Tareq and Shahid are our two main batsmen in the middle-order," said
Ajab's treble, and Chadhani's dismissal shortly afterwards, saw Eastnor subside from 157-3 to 162-7 and their hoped for 180 seemed in doubt.
"But Arshad batted really well and he put on 20 with Shameer in quick time," said Hughes. "He then took it on from 174 in the 47th over to 204 at the end of of 50.
"There was a six-run penalty included in that for Attock's slow over rate and we believed it was a good total."
However, when Attock openers Sultan Mahmood (47) and Mohammed Qamar Khan (32) had 89 on the board with just 18 overs bowled, it seemed as if the target would be reached with some comfort.
But Sajid Ali made the key breakthrough, having Mahmood caught by Shahid and then bowling dangerman and skipper Rawait Khan, who had made a big century against Eastnor the previous year, second ball.
"Sajid was our trump card and he bowled fantastically," said Chadhani. "He had bowled well the previous week when he went for just 15 in nine overs and this time he got four wickets."
With Sajid having set the collapse in motion, spinners Atiq (3-23) and Jabran Khalid (3-10) followed through.
"Attock went from 89-0 to 119-9 before they eventually got to 148," said Hughes.
"It was a good win and now we have to concentrate over the next few weeks on getting our team ethic together," said Chadhani.
Eastnor travel to Shropshire to face Whitchurch on Saturday.