Egerton Park beat promotion rivals Illston Abbey

Captain Nick Watchorn bowls for Park during their victory against Illston Abbey EMN-151108-112423002
Captain Nick Watchorn bowls for Park during their victory against Illston Abbey EMN-151108-112423002
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Egerton Park moved to within eight points of a Division Three promotion spot after beating second-placed Illston Abbey on Saturday.

Park started the day 28 points behind Abbey, and after winning the toss, elected to bowl first on a wicket with tinges of green.

Kamal Panchal bowls for Park during their victory against Illston Abbey EMN-151108-112412002

Kamal Panchal bowls for Park during their victory against Illston Abbey EMN-151108-112412002

Kamal Panchal struck in the first over, trapping Jones without scoring, but a series of missed opportunities then followed as four clear catches were grassed.

Park’s frustrations threatened to get the better of them as Illston’s good fortune enabled them to progress to 107-2 at drinks.

The home side took the opportunity to regroup and following the break, the leg spin of Zaheer Hussain and Josh Blunt set about inflicting a dramatic collapse.

Eight Illston wickets fell in the space of 78 balls for the addition of only 38 runs.

Hussain did the majority of the damage, taking 6 for 36 in what was arguably the best performance from an Australian in the past week.

The home side in reply batted 10 overs before tea was taken and looked comfortable at 47-1 after Stuart Rose was bowled for a duck.

After tea, the momentum shifted back to the visitors as four wickets fell for 21.

Man-of-the-match Hussain consolidated the innings with a fine half-century before he was caught at point for 57.

But another partnership between wicketkeeper Charlie Madden and Barney Simons secured maximum points for Park in the 33rd over.

Madden just missed out on a half-century of his own as he finished unbeaten on 47.

The win sets up Park for their visit to top-of-the-table Langtons on Saturday (match starts 1pm).

Illston Abbey: 147.

Bowling: K. Panchal 9-2-27-2; N. Watchorn 10-0-48-0; Z. Hussain 10-2-36-6; J. Blunt 8-2-29-2.

Egerton Park: S. Rose 0, R. Bailey 12, Z. Hussain 57, T. Glover 0, J. Blunt 0, D. Burdett 8, C. Madden 47*, B. Simons 7*, Extras 17. Total: 148–6.