Leaders too powerful for Eastnor

BIRMINGHAM League Division Two leaders Leamington proved too strong for Eastnor with a 59-run reverse sending the Herefordshire side tumbling to the foot of the table.

But the travelling villagers contributed to their own downfall as spokesman Malcolm Hughes acknowledged.

"Although the ground had dried up well after the rain, some water had got under the covers," he said. "There was a mark on a length, but we didn't take full advantage, apart from Shahid Ahmed, who took 3-14 in 10 overs in a very good spell.

"And then, when we batted, we still had seven wickets in hand with nine overs of our innings left so we really should not have lost."

In a match reduced to 33 overs a side, Eastnor won the toss and chose to bowl.

But Leamington, who included former England international Neil Smith and were watched by Smith's father, the England captain M J K Smith, batted strongly down the order and were able to get to 169-9.

"Their score was well above par in the conditions," said Hughes.

In reply, Sunil Rahi (22) and skipper Clive Chadhani (18) made runs early in the order and, with Tareq Jamil (39), playing his best innings for the club, Eastnor should have been on target for a draw.

However, wickets began to fall in quick succession in a variety of fashions - Shameer Ahmed was run out without facing a ball while his uncle Shahid dragged one on from outside the leg-stump first ball.

Eastnor were all out with eight balls to spare.

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