Nawaz and Beales hit form to guide Milford to victory

Skipper Stuart Phazey saluted ‘special’ Ejaz Nawaz after he helped Milford Hall make a winning start to the South Staffordshire County League season.

Milford Hall’s Sam Beales on his way to making a century on his debut against Beacon (Pic: Stuart Leggett)
Milford Hall’s Sam Beales on his way to making a century on his debut against Beacon (Pic: Stuart Leggett)

Nawaz blasted through Beacon’s middle-order with the ball, finishing with figures of 6-22 as Milford secured a 70-run win in a meeting of last year’s top two.

But he also made a key contribution with the bat, as part of a lower order rearguard which helped his team, batting first, recover from 97-7 to post a total of 191-9.

Nawaz was among those who provided support to Sam Beales, who scored an unbeaten 106 on his debut for the club.

Phazey said: “They were two excellent performances from Sam and Ejaz.

“The nature of Sam’s innings was what made it so incredible. He walked out when we were 32-4 but showed a huge amount of belief and calm all the way through.

“The contribution of our tail was key, too, as they were able to hang around and allow him to make the score he did. Nawaz probably helped start to turn the tide with a couple of boundaries which gave Sam confidence to play his own shots.

“Then with the ball Nawaz was outstanding. He is just a special cricketer. Beacon were going along quite nicely at 42-2 when he came on to bowl. After three overs he had taken four wickets without conceding a run and the match had completely swung round.”

Perhaps the game of the day took place at Fordhouses where the hosts claimed nine points in a draw with Penkridge, though it might have been more.

Chasing a target of 270 after Ishaq Mohammed had hit 113 for the visitors, Fordhouses had a sniff of victory when they sat on 235-3 with four overs remaining.

But as they tried to put their foot on the accelerator, wickets began to tumble. Opener Niall Cooper was eventually dismissed for a superb 135 as the home side finished on 255-8 from their 50 overs.

Big hitting from brothers Nathan and Jimmy Howell helped Wombourne claim an opening-day win at home to Rugeley. Set a testing 265 to win after Rhys Morgan (82) and Liam Brazier (75) had impressed for the visitors, stand-in skipper Nathan smashed 70 from 22 balls to ensure the home side were immediately ahead of the required run rate.

Jimmy then also hit 70, albeit at a slightly more sedate pace off 45 balls, as Wombourne claimed victory with four wickets in hand and more than 16 overs to spare.

An impressive team bowling performance helped Hammerwich claim a seven-wicket win at Old Wulfrunians Tettenhall.

Javed Hassan and Thomas Spears took three wickets each, with Stephen Blews and John Jennings taking two apiece as the hosts were bowled out for 161. Andy Malkin then struck an unbeaten 65 from 66 balls in the chase.

Brewood No.11 Will Marsh survived 32 balls to help his team finish on 152-9, chasing 207, to salvage a draw away at Lichfield.

Wolverhampton seconds were beaten by seven wickets at Tamworth.

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News