Egerton Park CC: Firsts slip, but Second XI close on leaders

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Egerton Park CC missed the chance to move into the second promotion place in Division Two as they slipped to defeat with an uncharacteristic display at struggling Countesthorpe.

With Thorpe dismantling second-placed Kirby Muxloe, Park had the chance to make it an all-Melton top two, but slumped to a five-wicket defeat.

Losing a crucial toss, Park were inserted on a wet pitch and the Countesthorpe bowlers put the pressure on immediately with plenty of movement.

Rose was caught for 10, chipping to mid-on after being dropped by the same fielder four balls earlier.

Bailey feathered a catch behind to one that held its line up the slope, and captain Madden got a snorter which pitched on middle and hit the top of off-stump leaving Park 33-3 off 11 overs.

Glover looked in imperious form, bludgeoning anything off line to the boundary in a superb 62 as he and Panchal, who looked busy at the crease, rotated well with some beautiful drives to add 80 for the fourth wicket.

They both went in quick succession as runs began to dry up, but a late flurry from King, Watchorn and Barber helped Park reach a well below-par 181 all out at the break.

In reply, Park put up their worst showing of the season with the ball.

In uncharacteristic fashion, Watchorn and Glover failed to capitalise on any pressure built on a flattening pitch, while Countesthorpe, fielding their strongest side of the season, latched onto anything slightly loose.

Henry Newton dragged Park back into the game with three wickets, leaving the hosts 102-4 and needing 80 runs off the last 16 overs.

But a 61-run partnership for the fifth wicket all but saw Countesthorpe home, helped by some wayward bowling from overseas signing Talati whose four overs went for 37.

The hosts got home with two overs to spare, leaving Park to rue their missed chance.

Matchball sponsor: Pera Business Park.

Park: Bailey 6, Rose 10, Glover 62, Madden 1, Panchal 28, Beeken 10, Barber 19, Talati 11, King 12, Watchorn 12, Newton 1*, Extras 9. Total: 181.

Countesthorpe: 182-5.

Bowling: Watchorn 7-0-31-0, Glover 14-2-38-2, Talati 4-0-37-0, Madden 9-0-29-0, Newton 9-0-31-3, Panchal 2-0-11-0.