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Pitch perfect as Paul takes seven
WHEN presented with a wet wicket, most captains would choose to bat second given the chance.
That, however, is not the case for Bromsgrove thirds skipper Paul Husbands when his side play at the Hedges Ground at St Godwalds Park, Bromsgrove.
According to Husbands, “the local knowledge on that ground is that as it dries it gets more difficult to bat on not easier.”
He was proved correct as the 45-year-old left-arm spinner, having seen his side post 143-8, claimed 7-21 en route to a narrow four-run Worcestershire League Division Four victory against Hanley Castle and Upton.
Husbands, who wins a £30 Fearnley Factory Shop voucher as Worcester News player-of-the-week, said: “As captain, I was pleased I lost the toss because I expected them to put us in so I was happy to lose the toss and get stuck in.
“We lost early wickets and made a bit of a meal of it but we got an eighth-wicket partnership of 51 between Matt Banham and Harry Smith.
“I thought it was a defendable score and beyond Hanley but opener Rory Mathews scored 50 not out and they raced to the drinks break at 82-1.
“But we got him out straight after the interval and then I decided to bring myself on.
“It was a good wicket, it was gripping and turning. I found the right areas and they found it difficult to score runs off me. I was pleased with seven wickets but it was the 21 runs off 14 overs that I was most pleased with.”
The skipper, whose side dismissed their opponents for 139, added: “The game flowed and we were very much in control but John Bywater (25 not out) almost single-handedly turned the game back in their favour.
“There was great elation at the end to win because it could have gone either way and I was pleased we got the 24 points.”
Husbands, a seam bowler by trade, has played in the Birmingham League for the club’s first team in years gone by but is now looking to nurture the talent of tomorrow.
With the team fourth in the table ahead of Saturday’s trip to Cleobury Mortimer, he is happy with the progress being made.
“I think we have competed in all the games we have played,” said Husbands, whose brother Nick is club chairman.
“We lost against Avoncroft but it was a tighter game than it looked and we have had two wins in the last two games.
“I have got a reasonably young side and individuals are coming out of the woodwork and getting us over the line in each game.
“It’s purely about developing the kids.”