Egerton Park salvage County League draw at Illston Abbey

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Half-centuries from Barney Simons and Dave Burdett helped Egerton Park salvage a draw from their trip to Illston Abbey on Saturday.

On a sunny, but very windy afternoon, Park lost the toss and were asked to take the field first.

Without Glover (knee ligaments) or Barnard (side strain) in the side, Park were short of pace options, and Illston’s naturally aggressive and sometimes unorthodox approach to batting paid off.

They scored at a steady five-and-a-half runs an over despite losing wickets at regular intervals to post 255.

Park’s reply started badly when Rose fell in the first over for the second week running.

Richard Bailey threatened a big score again before he was bowled for 14.

With Hussain (29) also out bowled, and in-form Madden falling to a catch at short cover in the same over, Park looked in deep trouble at 65-5 after 23 overs.

But after drinks the game changed, and momentum swung towards the visitors as Burdett’s counter-attack bludgeoned 56 of only 32 balls, including three sixes and seven fours.

Simons’ mental strength was the glue which held the middle order and innings together as he returned from a business trip to China to make a solid and risk-free unbeaten half-century.

Injured Harry Webster, who suffered a pulled quad muscle earlier in the game, came in later in the order than usual at number nine to help the visitors see out another draw with a respectable 206-7 from their 45 overs.

Illston Abbey: 254-9.

Bowling: K. Panchal 7-0-31-1; T. Webster 5-0-35-0; N. Watchorn 9-0-60-2; J. Blunt 11-0-66-1; Z. Hussain 11-0-37-3; B. Simons 2-0-11-0.

Egerton Park: S. Rose 4, R. Bailey 14, Z. Hussain 29, J. Blunt 8, B. Simons 50*, C. Madden 0, D. Burdett 56, K. Panchal 31, H. Webster 6*, Extras 9. Total: 206-7.