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James saves his best for the OVs
12:00pm Thursday 28th June 2012 in Sport By Steve Carley - Midlands Sports Journalist of the Year 2013, @stevecarleyWN
OLD Vigornians must be sick of the sight of David James following the Avoncroft skipper’s latest exploits.
The 45-year-old appears to save his best for the Worcester side and an unbeaten 131 in leading his team to a seven-wicket Worcestershire League Division Four victory proves the point.
It is not the first time James has rattled up runs against the OVs either as his career-best 173 not out also came at their expense, albeit a decade ago.
This time he steered his team past their target of 182 with almost 15 overs remaining at King’s Hawford and, in doing so, becomes Worcester News player-of-the-week, winning a £30 Fearnley Factory Shop voucher.
James said: “We were getting bogged down a bit so I chanced my arm and it paid off. It was one of those games that happens once in a while.
“Once I got used to the damp wicket I found it quite easy without being disrespectful to the bowlers. They kept pitching balls up to me that were driveable.
“I got my highest score of 173 against OVs. I always seem to get runs against them and Phil Mackie (the OVs chairman) asked if there was going to be a time when I don’t get runs against them!”
His century was not without controversy, however, as he had only scored two when wicketkeeper Dan Wheeler appealed for a stumping, a decision that went James’ way courtesy of good sportsmanship.
He continued: “The wicketkeeper thought I was bowled but Phil said it looked like the keeper had taken the bails off with his gloves.
“I stayed in and was only on about two at the time. Once I got past 50 I wanted to go quicker to keep up with the rate in case it rained, which it did after the match. We got the runs quite comfortably in the end.”
After losing the toss, top-of-the-table Avoncroft dismissed OVs for 181 in 49.1 overs, including 6-21 from Paul Athey for the former skipper’s best figures of the season.
It provided the platform for the visitors to chase down their sixth victory of the campaign and they got home in 35 overs.
“We have been chasing runs quite comfortably this season,” added James, whose side host second-placed Ross-on-Wye on Saturday.
“All our wins have come from batting second, apart from against Martley, and we chased down 171 against Bromsgrove. We have had some good all-round team performances.”