Stuart Phazey unfazed as Milford chase down target at Brewood

Skipper Stuart Phazey held his nerve to earn Milford Hall a victory at Brewood which kept them up with the South Staffs Clubs League pacesetters.

Phazey’s unbeaten 61 helped his team edge home by three wickets to remain second in the Premier Division table, level on points with Tamworth and two behind leaders Lichfield.

The captain had earlier claimed a couple of wickets with the ball as an improving Brewood, inspired by opener James Clark’s excellent century, posted 207 batting first.

Just how challenging a total it was became clear when, after Milford opener Harry Flowers had slapped 69 from just 39 balls, the visitors slumped to 167-7.

Yet Phazey remained immovable, chipping away and reaching the target thanks to an unbroken eighth wicket stand of 42 with Ejaz Nazaz (14 not out).

Milford have now won five of their first seven matches and though the season is less than a third complete, increasingly the title race looks like being between the current top three.

Tamworth gave another demonstration of their strength with an emphatic eight-wicket win at Beacon. Having opted to bat, the hosts were bowled out for just 104, skipper Dan Green top scoring with 27. The visitors then chased down the target in just 26 overs.

Lichfield found things a little tougher against a dogged Old Wulfrunians Tettenhall. Put into bat, the leaders found it hard going on their way to 181-9 from 50 overs, George Turner (29 not out) contributing valuable lower order runs as the final three wickets added 70 to the score.

They proved significant as Old Wulfs fell 21 runs short, their final four wickets falling for just 30. Turner’s efforts again proved key as he claimed 5-39 before Tom Swift (2-6) claimed the final two scalps.

There is now a 39-point gap from the top three to Wombourne, who are fourth after a 57-run win at Fordhouses.

Opener Nathan Howell’s thundering 57, which featured four sixes and came from just 30 balls, proved the pivotal innings on a day when batting was far from easy. It allowed Wombourne to post 177-9, a total which always looked sufficient once the hosts had slumped to 40-7 in reply. Jem Stack maintained hope with an unbeaten 52 but no-one could stay with him as Fordhouses were eventually bowled out for 120.

Penkridge are up to fifth after cruising past Hammerwich by eight wickets.

Zain Abbas and Faisel Nadeem claimed three wickets each as the visitors were bowled out for 133, opener Brian Fisher (43) one of only three players to make double figures.

Ishaq Mohammed then smacked six sixes in an unbeaten, 66-ball 79 as Penkridge made light work of the chase.

Rugeley sit bottom after losing by seven wickets to Wolverhampton seconds, despite opener Liam Brazier’s impressive 89.

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