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Brown: It’s nearly over
9:11am Wednesday 25th July 2012 in Sport
BARNT Green face an uphill task to retain their title in the Birmingham and District League Premier Division after losing to leaders Walsall by 65 runs.
Defeat at Cherry Hill Road, leaves Green seventh and trailing the table-toppers by 68 points.
Batting first, after losing the toss for only the second time this season, Walsall made a blistering start as Jack Manuel (31) and Christiaan Jonker (28) blasted them to 50 in the eighth over.
When visiting openers were dismissed, Green put on a stranglehold on the Walsall batsmen as they bowled them out for 170 in the 55th over despite the efforts of Alex McChristie (29) and Paul Byrne (20).
The wickets were shared between Stephen Bevan (3-34), Andy Sutton (3-37), Richard Wilkinson (2-24) and captain Dougie Brown (2-36).
After tea, some magnificently straight seam bowling by former Cannock teenager Josh Bowker, who took the first four wickets, reduced Barnt Green to 35-5 before Brown (19) and Adam Smith (20no) affected a partial improvement to 105 all out.
The last-wicket partnership of 23 was the highest of the innings while Bowker finished with 5-26 in nine overs.
Afterwards, Brown conceded regaining the title would be difficult and that the focus would now be more on the Kingfisher Beer National Knockout Cup, when they entertain Havant in the last eight on Sunday (1pm kick-off).
He said: “I think at the moment the title is out of our hands, Walsall are on the crest of a wave.
“We’ll probably be thinking about where we finish in the table.
“I feel that someone will challenge Walsall and I hope it can be us.”
Green will be hoping in-form batsman James Ord will be available for Sunday’s big cup clash against Havant.
Ord’s other team, Unicorns, take on Northamptonshire in the CB40 League on the same day.
Brown is relishing Sunday’s cup clash.
He said: “It’s going to be a high quality game and if the weather continues to be good then there’s every chance we’ll get a few hundred to watch us.
“There aren’t many better places to watch cricket than Barnt Green.”
Before Sunday’s clash, Green go to Brockhampton in the league on Saturday.