By Stuart Dunn, @studunn21, at The Shrewsbury Chronicle
ED FOSTER, such a model of consistency down the years, insisted he was thrilled to replace his dad John in the club record books after hitting the highest league score by any Shrewsbury player.
Foster was at his brilliant best as he inspired the London Roaders to a crushing 222 run win in their top of the table clash against Kidderminster in the Birmingham League premier division.
Shrewsbury are now 39 points clear in pole position ahead of Saturday’s trip to Barnt Green.
Foster, an opening bat and former club and county captain just like his dad, is no stranger to weighing in with big scores.
But his efforts in cracking a sparkling 169 to set up an imposing Shrewsbury total of 362-7 was something special even by his high standards.
It eclipsed the previous club record score of 159 achieved by his dad in a Shropshire League match at Shifnal in 1991.
And fittingly Ed’s younger brother, Rob, the current Shrewsbury skipper, was in the middle batting with him when he broke the record.
“It was good fun, a bit surreal really,” said Foster. “It’s not every day you get scores like that, individually and as a team.
“To make over 360 was a brilliant effort and it was a really good win to extend our lead at the top of the table.
“Me and Rob have had it drummed into us since we were young that dad holds the record with 159.
“When I got to 150 Rob was out there batting with me and said ‘you know what’s coming’.
“It was good to get it and quite a lot of people around the ground knew about it so that was nice.”
As well as being a new club record, it was also the highest score racked up by Foster, a man renowned as arguably the leading batsman in the Birmingham League.
“I got 160 when I was playing in Australia once,” he said. “I also scored 155 over here in a league game a couple of years ago but this was comfortably my best.”
Foster helped himself to no fewer than five towering sixes and 18 boundaries with his 169 coming from 133 balls.
He received sound support from brother Rob, who hammered a quickfire 67, and also Joe Leach (45), part of the Worcestershire side beaten by Warwickshire at a sold out New Road in the Friends Life Twenty20 the previous night.
Leach himself is bang in form having cracked 131 for Shrewsbury at Wombourne in the league a week earlier and then 162 for Worcestershire II in their 2nd XI Championship clash against Warwickshire at Ombersley.
There were also runs for Tom Cox (27) and Steve Barnard (20no) as Shrewsbury shone in the sun to accumulate a daunting 362-7 from their 55 overs.
Kidderminster’s much vaunted batting line up were then found wanting as they were dismissed for 140.
Leach (2-27) enjoyed removing his Worcestershire team mate Matt Pardoe, who regularly opens for the Pears, caught and bowled for just two.
And Kidderminster’s other Worcestershire man, Neil Pinner, was caught behind by Anthony Parker off former Shelton paceman Sam Griffiths (2-37) for 19.
Spinner Elliot Green claimed 3-18 and Mike Barnard also played his part with 2-17, with opener Andy Kimberlin (57) the only man to offer any resistance as Kidderminster were well beaten.
“I was really pleased with how well we did because they had two first class cricketers playing for them,” added Ed Foster. “It was a massive game and we’ve put some real daylight between us.
“Everyone really turned it on and contributed to our score and then the bowlers did really well on a pretty flat track to bowl them out for 140.
“It was a really great effort and shows that we have got something special here.”