Quatt hit form as they start summer with welcome win

Quatt threw down an early marker with an opening day derby victory over Worfield as the Shropshire County Cricket League finally swung into action.

Newport’s Shabbir Khan impressed with bat and ball
Newport’s Shabbir Khan impressed with bat and ball

A shortened campaign that has seen the Premier Division split into two groups of six due to the Covid-19 pandemic, got under way with last season’s second and third-placed teams meeting at The Quatt Oval.

And it was the hosts who came out on top in the 30-over clash, chasing down Worfield’s 199 target with three overs and five wickets to spare.

The Plank brothers, Oliver and Dan, who used to turn out for neighbours Worfield, saw their side over the line, batting at six and seven, after 47 from new recruit and opening batsman Chris Miller and a superb 65 from wicketkeeper Alex Biddle.

A quick 32 from Oliver, including six boundaries, and 17 from Dan sealed the win.

“Ironically they both used to play for Worfield,” said Quatt captain Craig Jones. “Oliver batted well and Dan chipped in at the end.

“Our lads have quite a few mates in their team. We know each other quite well. In small villages we seem to bump into each other quite a lot. There’s a nice little friendly rivalry there.”

Quatt had reduced Worfield to 72-3 in the Clive Smith Group contest, but captain Will Cook (41) and Harvey Sage (43) added valuable runs before Tom Pickerill smashed 77 from 36 balls, 11 of which were boundaries.

“To be honest I thought they got about 20 too many,” Jones added. “I was happy with 170 or 180, but I thought 200 might be too many.

“I thought we’d have to bat really well and luckily we did.

“With Chris Miller at the top, we have a bit more experience. He got us off to a flyer with 47 from 35 balls, he got us ahead of the rate.

“Alex Biddle batted extremely well. There was a short boundary on the one side so we could target it.

“It’s nice to get off to a good start, especially in the shorter season.”

Quatt go to Madeley on Saturday, while Worfield host Ludlow.

Elsewhere in Clive Smith Group action, fine batting displays by Newport pair Saqib Akbar and Sam Davies helped their side to a commanding victory at Ludlow.

The visitors elected to bat and piled up 274-7.

Opener Sam Papps made 34 before Akbar, who joined from Staffs Clubs side Hawkins in the winter, hit 73 from 36 balls. Davies ended 56 not out and Shabbir Khan unbeaten on 30. Josh Williams took 3-46 for Ludlow.

The hosts were powerless in response, with Alfie Holliehead’s 18 the best they could muster as they fell for 129.

Khan capped a fine game by bagging with 4-12, while Johar Ahmed took three wickets and Lewis Davies two.

Play was abandoned between Madeley and Allscott Heath.

Hosts Madeley had managed 156-7 from 29 overs, with Doug Reynolds top scoring with 53, chasing Allscott’s 177. Carl Starling was their chief contributor with the bat with 58.

The home side were awarded 12 points and Allscott took home 10.

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