Smedley shines for Barnards Green thirds

Malvern Gazette: Smedley shines for Barnards Green thirds Smedley shines for Barnards Green thirds

CHRIS Smedley starred as Worcestershire League Division Five leaders Barnards Green thirds romped to their third straight win.

The all-rounder hit 123 in the Malvern side’s 130-run thrashing of a youthful Barnt Green thirds in Newland.

Skipper Jez Clarke (8) opted to bat first and looked set for a big innings after two boundaries, only to pull a short ball and be caught at mid-on.

The in-form Tim Clarke (2) could not settle as the ball seemed to stick in the wicket and chipped a forward defensive shot up to the cover fielder.

Barnards Green were struggling on 19-2 after five overs but then Smedley took over, putting bad balls to the rope and looking to rotate the strike with quick singles.

He managed 19 fours and four sixes, while Stewart Hepburn was quickly into his rhythm, reaching 50 quickly and helping his side on to 228-2 from 32 overs.

Hepburn reached his maiden century with a shot through mid-wicket and was finally dismissed for 103.

Dan Metcalfe impressed in his 42 with fine shots as Barnards Green finished their 50 overs on 344-7.

The hosts looked to the opening attack of Hepburn and Matt Brookes to make a breakthrough but 14-year-old South African Jacques Banton had other ideas.

However, Hepburn eventually found a good line and length, finishing with figures of 3-38.

Banton (82) seemed to want to take on every bowler but finally fell to Tim Clarke (2-15).

Chris Freeman (3-39) reduced the visitors to 214-9 and secured victory for Green, who head to Hallow on Saturday (1pm).

The fourths also triumphed over Barnt Green, scoring 144-6 in reply to 140-9 to seal a four-wicket success.

Bowlers Nick Pett, Adam Dickenson, Zach Marsh and Dave Smith claimed two victims each.

Robert Lewis (48), Cyril Dean (32 not out) and Harry Chadwick (27) then starred with the bat.

Barnards Green seconds lost to Ombersley in Birmingham and District Premier League Division Two South by four wickets.

Opener Chris Hill (65) top-scored in Green’s 214 all out but the visitors reached a winning 215-6 with more than three overs left.

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