JONATHAN Miles and Johann Smit both hit half-centuries as Old Elizabethans maintained their promotion push with a thrilling three wicket win over Penkridge in Division Two of the Birmingham League.
Miles (81) and Smit (55) shared a second-wicket stand of 121, and despite a brief wobble which saw OEs collapse from 143-1 to 181-6, Taylor Pugh hit two fours off the penultimate over to see them home with seven balls to spare.
After OEs skipper, Jamie Boyle, won the toss and elected to bowl Hemaka Pathiranage picked up two early wickets to leave Penkridge 38-3.
Wickets continued to tumble as the hosts were left in tatters on 73-6, but Zahoor Iqbal then launched a counter attack with 60 off 41 balls including six sixes, as he shared a partnership of 78 with Laeq Chishti (57).
Muhammad Murad continued the recovery with a quickfire 29 not out as Penkridge posted 212-9.
In the reply Boyle went early for 16 before Miles and Smit’s century partnership put OEs in control.
When Smit and Joe Taylor (0) fell in quick succession, the wickets continued to tumble, but the hard work had already been done by Smit and Miles and OEs had bagged 20 points.
The result means OEs are now 13 points behind second-placed Penkridge and a promotion place.
RUSSELL Pitchers smashed a century as Worcester CC put one hand on the Worcestershire County League Division One title with a seven wicket win against Pedmore.
After restricting the visitors to 218-9, opener Pitchers blasted 104 off 88 balls to lead his side home with more than ten overs to spare.
Pedmore won the toss and elected to bat first, but following an opening stand of 41 wickets began to fall at regular intervals and they were soon 144-7 as Liam Kelleher (3-54) did the damage with the ball.
Some big-hitting by the lower order, including 28 not out from captain James Burgoyne, helped Pedmore past 200 but Worcester knew they had restricted them to a below par score.
Pitchers and Simon Keyte (46) then proceeded to smash the bowlers to all parts of the ground in an opening stand of 144 before Keyte was bowled by Daniel Such.
But Pitchers continued his assault in an innings which included 18 fours and a six, and despite falling with 29 needed, Nick Brown (22 not out) and Mo Adeel (13 not out) saw the league leaders home.
With second-placed Pershore also claiming a maximum 24 points in their 93 run win over Redditch, Worcester maintained their 57 point lead at the top, with just five games remaining.
Worcester Nomads beat Droitwich by 97 runs thanks to David White’s fine century.
The opener scored 109 off 148 balls and Richard Henry hit a quickfire 80, including three sixes, as the hosts piled up 290-6 in their 50 overs.
Nomads bowlers, Richard Henry and Dominic Badger, then picked up four wickets each as Droitwich were bowled out for 193.
Elsewhere in Division One, Colwall beat Evesham by eight wickets, Hagley claimed a winning draw at Bromyard and Harvington were skittled for just 84 as they lost by five wickets to Belbroughton.
IN DIVISION Two, Worcester Dominies captain John Hancock hit 95 as his side beat Enville by seven wickets.
After bowling out the visitors for 188, Hancock’s fine effort saw his side chase down the target with 15 overs to spare.
In the other local games, Malvern were bowled out for just 44 as they lost by 120 runs at Wormelow and bottom side Rushwick look certainties for relegation after losing by four wickets to Oldswinford.
OLD VIGORNIANS clung on for a losing draw in their game against Ross-on-Wye.
Charles Lamb took 4-33 as Ross posted 279-8 in their 50 overs.
Plenty of batsmen got starts in OVs chase, but with a top score of just 30 by Alistair Hunt, they were left to thank last wicket pair Charles Lamb and Jabba Riaz who held on to deny Ross the win.