CAPTAIN Jack Grundy felt it was a missed opportunity to increase the pressure on the Birmingham Premier League Division One top two after Smethwick’s last pair thwarted Knowle & Dorridge’s victory hopes last weekend.
Grundy described himself as “frustrated” by the result, despite claiming 17 points from a winning draw.
K&D failed to dislodge their hosts’ last pair who survived eight overs before closing on 179 for nine. The visitors had earlier posted 271 for six after Alex Phillips (118) and Amir Khan (81) had added 202 for the first wicket.
“It was very frustrating because we had plenty of time at their last pair and we should have got across the line,” Grundy said.
“Once we got a couple of early wickets Smethwick shut up shop pretty early on and after we got their overseas’ player first ball caught at slip it was all about whether we could bowl them out.
“A couple of balls landed just short of slip, but that was as close as we got and overall we have to be happy with 17 points from our fourth positive result in a row.”
Phillips continued his tremendous run of form, repeating his May century against Smethwick while completing a third in the league campaign following last week’s 139 against Leamington.
And with partner Khan posting a 131-ball 81 the Smethwick attack faced a tough afternoon under hot sun.
With Neil Dexter and Sam Reddish contributing breezy 20’s, the visitors, for whom pro Gurinder Singh claimed 4-85, were set a formidable target.
“Alex is really batting well – he looks full of confidence and is taking it to the bowlers,” Grundy added. “His contribution is really valuable to the team – the top three making consistent runs again set things up really nicely.”
Smethwick’s response progressed steadily to 95 thanks to Hamza Ahmed and Aman Hussain who both made 48.
However, with Grundy (3-15) and the hostile Ari Karvelas (4-48) ripping through the middle-order, the home side lost four wickets for the addition of just 14 runs.
This eventually left their last pair scrambling for a draw which they achieved in contrasting styles – Zayan Kayani opting for the traditional route while last man Naseer Ahmed instead blasted six boundaries in a quickfire 24-ball 31.
K&D, who remain in third place in the table, have narrowed the gap on leaders Berkswell and Kidderminster both of whom are yet to face Grundy’s side for a second time.
On Saturday, K&D are at home to third-bottom Walsall.