County League: Egerton Park and Thorpe Arnold bolster promotion bids

Myles Hickman steams in during his six-wicket haul againsat Billesdon EMN-180821-104632002
Myles Hickman steams in during his six-wicket haul againsat Billesdon EMN-180821-104632002
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Egerton Park and Thorpe Arnold strengthened their Division Two promotion challenge with convincing wins on Saturday.

Thorpe moved to within six points of the second promotion place after demolishing Billesdon, while Park made it back-to-back wins to stay within touching distance.

Thorpe Arnold celebrate another Hickman wicket as they extend their remarkable run to nine wins and no defeats in their last 10 EMN-180821-104643002

Thorpe Arnold celebrate another Hickman wicket as they extend their remarkable run to nine wins and no defeats in their last 10 EMN-180821-104643002

Park headed to Leicester Banks on the back of an impressive win against top-five rivals Kirby Muxloe, and pulled off another successful run chase.

After Park lost the toss again, Leicester Banks chose to bat and were immediately put under pressure by Nick Watchorn and Tom Glover.

Both bowled good opening spells and paved the way for leading wicket-taker Rakesh Seecharan to once again help himself to four wickets, bowling with great control to rip through the Banks middle order.

A good all-round performance in the field saw all six bowlers pick up wickets to dismiss the home side for 176.

In-form openers Kamal Panchal and Richard Bailey hoped to get Egerton Park off to a flyer, but despite a few quick boundaries they found it hard going early on.

Panchal fell for nine, but Glover (28) and Bailey (20) continued to attack.

When they both fell, the visitors found themselves 63-3, but then came the decisive partnership.

Stuart Rose (58 not out) and Charlie Madden 54 (not out) compiled an unbroken stand of 116, hitting the ball to all parts to reach the target after just 31 overs.

A dominant performance sets Park up for their final five games, sitting fifth, but just 13 points adrift of second-placed Leicester Ivanhoe.

Their run-in starts on Saturday at home to Ibstock Town (1pm start).

Matchball sponsor: Pera Business Park.

Leicester Banks: 175.

Bowling: Watchorn 11-1-40-2; Glover 8.1-2-42-1; Seecharan 12-4-43-4; Newton 2-0-13-1; Madden 6-1-26-1; Barber 2-0-6-1.

Park: Bailey 20, Panchal 9, Glover 28, Rose 58*, Madden 54*, Extras 9. Total: 178-3.

* After several tight wins this season, Thorpe were ruthless as they saw off Billesdon by eight wickets to make it nine wins from their last 10 matches.

Their leading wicket-taker Myles Hickman was at it again, with yet another honours board display.

He took three of the Billesdon top four, who mustered just nine runs between them, on his way to figures of 6 for 17.

Just two of the batsmen made it into double-figures as the visitors were skittled for just 69 inside 29 overs.

The hosts were in no mood to hang around in reply, as Kingsley Miller, Dom Exton and Mark Starkey saw Thorpe to their target in just 14 overs.

Next up for Thorpe is a trip to promotion rivals Ivanhoe on Saturday.