MALVERN leapt up to third in Worcestershire League Division Three after a thrilling two-wicket success at Avoncroft.

The hosts batted first and were indebted to Jon Bird and Matt Hare who both scored 45 in their total of 201 all out.

Rob Francis bowled a superb spell of 4-56, while Ashley Jones and Tom Hale both claimed two wickets in a fine fielding display.

Opener Ollie Bendall immediately went on the attack, finding the boundary with ease in another good innings of 60.

David Cox (19) and Max White (21) maintained the momentum with useful contributions before they were dismissed.

Francis’ and Jones’ efforts were shortlived but explosive, scoring 31 and 28 respectively, and took Malvern to the brink of victory.

But, when Paul Athey bagged wickets with successive deliveries, the game was suddenly in the balance.

However, Lewis Hill (10 not out) was more than up to the task and saw Malvern home with several superb boundaries to cap an impressive all-round team performance.

David Sharp scored 61 and captain Chay Ankers 48 but the fourth-from-bottom seconds lost by six wickets at home to Avoncroft.

  • Malvern hope people will vote for them to win the prize of a lifetime.

They want the chance to host a training session with England legends and are among 40 teams across the United Kingdom competing.

The prize is part of a grassroots campaign launched by home appliance brand AEG.

Malvern won 11 bespoke Canterbury kits and an AEG washing machine before the start of the season.

Voting closes on July 19. To vote, visit their page at facebook.