Egerton Park clinch County League promotion against Newbold Verdon

Zaheer Hussain survives an lbw appeal during Egerton Park's crucial second wicket partnership with Richard Bailey EMN-150915-120444002
Zaheer Hussain survives an lbw appeal during Egerton Park's crucial second wicket partnership with Richard Bailey EMN-150915-120444002
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Egerton Park rounded off a stellar season by edging the last County League game of the season to secure promotion to Division Two.

The thrilling winner-takes-all finale saw second-placed Park take on Newbold Verdon, in third, and was compulsive viewing from start to finish.

Captain Nick Watchorn won the toss and decided to bat first despite heavy overnight rain and overcast conditions.

Stuart Rose fell in the first over without scoring and got the visitors off to a great start, but superb batting by Richard Bailey (78) and Zaheer Hussain (62) put on 126 for the second wicket.

Bailey looked in fine form, playing some delightful shots, including 14 fours, but unfortunately fell 22 short of his century when he was expertly stumped by Newbold keeper Bird,

Hussain’s knock was the 11th time he’d gone past 50 and took his season’s league run tally to 1,192.

Vice-captain Tom Glover narrowly missed out on a half-century of his own, but his 49 off 41 balls helped push the home side’s total to a very competitive 223-6.

After tea, Newbold batted positively and made a fine start with 67 coming off the first 15 overs without loss.

The introduction of Glover and Hussain a few overs before the drinks break broke the partnership, removing both openers and 10 overs were bowled at the cost of only 25 runs.

With the visitors now behind the rate and chasing the game, Park were able to set some defensive fields to protect the boundary and allow the scoreboard pressure to tell.

Wickets began to fall, but it wasn’t until the dangerous Bell, who struck two sixes in the last couple of overs, was caught by Barney Simons in the last over that the home side could relax and enjoy the last few deliveries.

Newbold finished on 211-9 from their 45 overs, 12 runs short of victory which would have seen them promoted instead of Park.

Egerton Park: S. Rose 0, R. Bailey 78, Z. Hussain 62, T. Glover 49, B. Simons 6, D. Burdett 4, J. Blunt 8*, K. Panchal 1*, Extras 15. Total: 223-6.

Newbold Verdon: 211-9.

Bowling: K. Panchal 8-2-17-0; N. Watchorn 6-1-32-0; T. Glover 10-2-44-3; Z. Hussain 12-2-45-4; J. Blunt 9-0-57-1.