THE SHOWDOWN between local rivals Redditch Entaco and Astwood Bank at Bromsgrove Road went the way of the latter in a thrilling Worcestershire League Premier Division encounter.
Bank came out on top in the first derby between the two this term, winning by four wickets after hosts Redditch posted 287-9 from their innings.
Astwood Bank moved up to fifth after wrapping up victory with more than four overs in hand, leaving Redditch marooned in ninth place.
Entaco were first up at the crease after their rivals won the toss. Opener and skipper Adam Gailey (0) fell early to leave the score at 17-1 before Oliver Mason (71) and number three Adeel Sajid (54) smashed 93 runs in a second-wicket partnership.
With the rapid run rate continuing through a 77-run stand between Sajid and Russell Southwick (57), Redditch looked well on track to post an unassailable score.
But while Rizwan Chaudhry (27) helped Entaco’s cause with a solid contribution, wickets began to fall at regular intervals as the hosts’ innings slowly fizzled out – much in part to efficient bowling from the likes of Dan Thomas (2-35) and Alan White (2-44).
An opening stand of 63 between openers Tom Pedley (53) and skipper Rob West (17) ensured Bank began their reply in confident fashion, before Pedley joined Jake Browning (61) to smash 77 for the second wicket.
Bowler Noman Mohammad Chaudhry (3-39) caused Astwood Bank no end of problems, though the concession of 78 extras in all by Entaco’s attack only aided the visitors’ cause further.
Browning eventually fell for the fourth wicket at 212-4, having put on 81 with Tom Underhill (28) to guide their side towards the winning path.
It was then up to Alan White (17 not out) and Dan Taylor (5no) to see the game out, securing a fourth win this term for Bank as their top-four aspirations continue to take shape.
For Redditch, who are yet to record successive victories this season, it is another case of going back to the drawing board, starting with a home encounter with Colwall, who sit in seventh place, on Saturday
Bank, meanwhile, head to in-form Stourport-on-Severn, who are second, on Saturday.