Rhodes leads Barnards Green to top of the table

Malvern Gazette: Rhodes leads Barnards Green to top of the table Rhodes leads Barnards Green to top of the table

GEORGE Rhodes enjoyed a winning debut as captain when Barnards Green took 20 points for the second week running.

They top Birmingham and District Premier League Division One after three games ahead of tomorrow's big match at second-placed county rivals Ombersley (noon).

Green beat Moseley by eight wickets in a rain-affected clash after scoring 114-2 in reply to 139 all out.

Worcestershire player Rhodes, son of County director of cricket Steve, won the toss and chose to field first with rain in the air.

After an early break for the weather, Liam Smith returned to the side in style by taking two early wickets.

Dangerous overseas player Neville Talbot mistimed a pull shot and was caught by Jamie Tapper at mid-off for 13.

Moseley’s other opener Usman Shabir was bowled for five by Smith.

The visitors' 28-2 became 41-4 as Mark Hardinges trapped both Kishen Patel (14) and Abdul Hafeez (2) lbw.

Ali Awan and Simon Chase steadied the ship to reach 50 in the 13th over with a four through mid-off.

But Jon Dovey broke the partnership as Awan (24) nicked a ball behind to wicketkeeper Ash Brewer.

Jono Watts fell lbw soon after for a duck off Hepburn before Recordo Gordon and Chase built the strongest partnership of the innings, including two sixes off Rhodes.

However, Dovey again took the key wickets with Chase (24) caught by Smith at mid-on for 24 before Gordon mishit to Alex Milton for 34 off 36 balls.

Moseley were on 133-8 with 17 overs left to bat but Hardinges and Smith returned to grab their third wickets.

Smith bowled Tom Watts (0) and Hardinges had Fred Eburah (1) caught by Milton at backward point as Moseley were bowled out in the 36th over.

It gave Green 50 overs to bat, despite the rain break, and Gordon then went for 33 runs off his first three overs, including six no-balls and a big six from Rhodes. The captain built a strong partnership with Adam Dovey of 46 before Tom Watts trapped the latter lbw for 6.

Alex Hepburn and Rhodes were always well ahead of the run-rate as the former brought up the 50 in the 10th over with a fine drive for four.

Moseley rotated their bowlers in an attempt to unsettle the batsmen without success and a rain break reduced Green's target to 128 off 46 overs.

But Gordon returned with immediate effect as Rhodes was bowled by a fine yorker just four short of his half-century.

Green were on 105-2 when the showers came again and they were then set 114 off 41 overs.

But the hosts needed just one more over to finish the game with Hepburn hitting two boundaries to end up on 40 not out with Hardinges on 6no.

Green host Ombersley in Second XI Division Two South tomorrow (12.30pm) after their trip to Water Orton was abandoned.

They collected seven points after being bowled out for 113 and then reducing the hosts to 47-5 in reply.

Kevin Golder scored 59 runs and Jack Mackintosh took 2-18.

Green hold their annual six-a-side competition on Sunday, May 25, with teams from football clubs Malvern Town, Malvern Radar and Powick taking part.

All spectators are welcome.

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