Shrewsbury still searching for performances

By Stuart Dunn at the Shrewsbury Chronicle

SHREWSBURY’S stuttering season continued with skipper Rob Foster admitting his side were “outplayed” in their losing draw at Kidderminster – but there was better news 24 hours later as he starred in their National Twenty20 KO win over Attock.

Shrewsbury were indebted to a gritty knock from opener Ed Foster for ensuring they just about managed to hold on for a losing draw worth four points at Kidderminster in the Birmingham League premier division.

Foster kept his cool as wickets tumbled around him as Shrewsbury closed well off the pace on 98-9 in reply to Kidderminster’s competitive total of 175-6.

A delayed start at Chester Road owing to the wet weather saw the match eventuallly get under way at 3pm and it was a reduced 32 overs per side affair.

Kidderminster, invited to bat first, were well served by a third wicket stand of 90 between Michael Hill (65) and Craig Wood (53).

Sam Griffiths, the former Shelton seamer, was the pick of the visiting attack, claiming 3-36 from 10 overs, his victims including regular Worcestershire opener Matt Pardoe, caught and bowled for 21.

Spinner Charlie Morris, a close season recruit from Oswestry, also played his part by claiming 3-48.

Shrewsbury, in reply, were quickly up against it after slumping to 33-4 with Steve Leach, Anthony Parker, Tom Cox and skipper Foster all back in the pavilion.

But opener Foster was in unbeatable form, standing firm to compile an unbeaten 45, riding to Shrewsbury’s rescue, as he so often has over the years.

He faced 94 balls and hit four boundaries as Shrewsbury hung on for a losing draw, not that it was much consolation.

Dewi Morris (17) provided some support, but the Kidderminster attack, spearheaded by Gareth Williams (4-22), held the upper hand as Shrewsbury, who host Barnt Green on Saturday, slipped two places in the table to ninth spot.

Skipper Foster said: “We were so far off being competitive against a good Kidderminster side who really outplayed us.

“We want to put a few good performances together back to back but we don’t seem to be able to do it at the moment.

“Ed batted well and Sam Griffiths bowled well for his three wickets. His caught and bowled to get rid of Matt Pardoe was stunning – but overall it was a disappointing day for us.”

Sunday brought better news for Shrewsbury as they beat Attock by nine runs to set up a second round tie in the National Twenty20 KO at home to Oswestry on Sunday afternoon.

Skipper Foster cracked an excellent 60 from 30 balls and Tom Cox added 35 as Shrewsbury racked up 154-5 from their 20 overs.

Spinners Elliot Green and recent recruit Joe Hall then took two wickets apiece as Attock pulled up short on 145-9.

“It was a good performance and good to get a win,” added Foster. “They got 25 runs of the last two overs which made it look a bit closer than it probably was.”

SHREWSBURY II, who have not had much luck with the weather this season, had another unwanted day off with their scheduled home game with Moseley II unable to get started owing to London road being too wet.

They head to Barnt Green II in the Birmingham Cricket League’s premier reserve division on Saturday.