REDDITCH Entaco CC head into Saturday’s Worcestershire League Division One fixtures in upbeat mood following the weekend’s opening drawn fixtures against Oldswinford & Stourbridge Social and Rushwick respectively.
However, despite dominating large chunks of the match, the first XI had to settle for just seven points from their clash at Oldswinford.
Skipper Luke Davis won the toss and elected to bowl and was rewarded with a wicket with just the third ball of the day as in-form Waqas Ali bowled Harry Stanier without scoring.
Redditch gained more success as Australian recruit Joe Scarcella and Greg Chinn claimed wickets to leave the hosts struggling on 89-5, but Oldswinford bounced back as skipper Tom Blunt (35) and Phil Croft (53) repaired the damage and they were eventually bowled out for 209, with Ali taking 4-50, Chinn 3-49 and Scarcella 2-46.
In reply openers Scarcella (24) and Tom Field (29) put on 54 for the first wicket and, with Russell Southwick (27) impressing, Redditch were on course for victory, but two quickfire wickets saw Redditch lose their momentum.
Oldswinford sensed an unlikely victory as wickets continued to fall as Blunt took on the middle order, but skipper Davis used all his experience along with teenager Ghulam Moyhuddin to guide the Kingfishers to 169-8.
Off-spinner Blunt took 5-47 as Oldswinford claimed 14 points.
Redditch begin their home campaign with the visit of Droitwich to Bromsgrove Road on Saturday.
The 2nd XI, who visit Stourport on Saturday, were in impressive form as a magnificent 169 from Liam Phelan provided the backbone of their total of 360-6 off their 50 overs at home to Rushwick.
Skipper Geoff Eley with 61 and Yassar Altaf (35) added valuable runs as Rushwick toiled in the field.
Redditch attacked in the field and wickets tumbled as teenager Sam Egan did the damage by taking 5-44 off 14 overs, but Robin Butterworth (105) hit a defiant century to deny the Kingfishers maximum points as Rushwick held on to finish on 194-9 off their 50 overs, leaving the hosts with 18 points.
On Saturday Redditch 3rds and 4ths open their 2015 campaigns against West Malvern. All matches start at 1pm.