MARTLEY have lost seven Worcestershire League Division Three matches in a row after being soundly beaten at Malvern by seven wickets.

Choosing to bat first on a flat Regency Road pitch and despite losing the early wicket of Mark Johnson Martley made steady progress to 96-1.

Rich Birchley drove to extra cover for 26 which signalled a calamitous 20 overs when Martley lost eight wickets for 67 runs.

Only Tom Vale (67) showed any degree of application.

On 164-9 the last-wicket partnership of Jim Basford and Tom Clement accumulated 38 runs over nine overs with few alarms to gain two more batting points.

But on 202 Basford (20) drove tamely to cover leaving Clement on 12 not out.

James Arnold claimed 3-47 and Tom Hale 3-24 for Malvern.

Malvern’s openers David Cox (67) and Lewis Hill (30) were in no mood for charity dispatching anything loose especially the half-volleys from the Johnson attack.

It was not until some discipline from the bowlers was applied the run-rate slowed to the point at drinks they were on 88-1 which was exactly the same score as Martley.

But the ball just would not run for Martley with a number of dropped chances and chips falling into space.

The hosts' Jamie Williams hit 59, Hale 22 and Arnold 17 not out.

Sixth-placed Malvern reached their target in the 42nd over with 203-3 and wins for Astwood Bank thirds and Rushwick put the pressure on Martley in the bottom two.

Martley seconds lost a close Division Four encounter to Malvern by two wickets.

The villagers had a decent start and were on 85-3 at drinks with Ben Court making 20 and Alec Francis 38.

But the lower order collapsed against the bowling of Mike McCollum (6-25) and Martley were all out for 128.

In reply Francis bowled a fine spell of 3-14 from nine overs.

Shahnawaz Shamim took 3-20 including the wicket of top scorer Ian Alley for 35.

But Martley put down a few chances and Malvern got home with two wickets to spare.