WORCESTER began the new Worcestershire Cricket League Premier Division season in style with a fine victory over Astwood Bank.

The early start allows for a new play-off between four county champions in mid-September with two promoted to the new Birmingham League set-up.

Luke Deeprose (6-49) helped Worcester skittle visitors Astwood Bank, who dropped down from the Birmingham competition, for 126.

A 10th-wicket partnership between Dan Taylor (22) and Dan Thomas (36 not out) lifted the visitors from 51-9.

The final-wicket pair then shared four wickets to reduce the hosts to 60-7.

But they could not stop a determined Worcester team from getting over the line following an unbroken eighth-wicket partnership between Clark Knapton (34no) and Zain Hussain (32no).

City side Old Elizabethans, who also dropped down from the Birmingham League, were thrashed by early leaders Chaddesley Corbett by 138 runs.

After losing the toss and being asked to bat first, a man-of-the-match display from Waqas Ahmed (75 and 5-24) alongside Bilal Hassan (57 not out and 3-22) and Mohammad Sajid (54) posted 263-5.

Chaddesley's attack took control after a bright 49-run opening partnership by OEs to seal a win off the penultimate ball when Hassan bowled last man Rowan Upton.

Much-fancied Pershore lie second after strong bowling secured a comfortable 132-run win in the Vale derby against Evesham.

Pershore battled hard in bowler-friendly conditions to score 205-9 with Adnan Sagheer taking 5-32.

The hosts' opening bowlers Stephen Miles (4-26) and Andrew Hill (4-35) produced a sustained 20-over spell to secure a maximum-point win with Evesham out for 73.

Last year’s league champions Bewdley beat Feckenham by seven wickets after deciding to bowl first.

New recruit Luke Courtney (5-11) helped them wrap the game up by 4.15pm as they routed the visitors for 63 to gain a comfortable victory.

Stourport beat Stourbridge by two wickets after dismissing the visitors for 158.

Stourbridge fought hard to defend the total and reduced Stourport to 121-8.

But captain Craig Siwicki (20no) and 18-year-old Charlie Foley (25no) produced a 42-run ninth-wicket partnership to seal victory with an over to spare.

Redditch earned a maximum-point win at Old Hill by 63 runs.


Feckenham 63 a/o 1 L Courtney 5-11, Bewdley 64-3 20. Bewdley won by 7 wickets.

Chaddesley Corbett 263-5 24 W Ahmed 75, B Hassan 57*, M Sajid 54, Old Elizabethans 125 a/o 3. Chaddesley Corbett won by 138 runs.

Redditch 150 a/o 24 N Tahir 6-37, Old Hill 87 a/o 4 W Ali 6-25. Redditch won by 63 runs.

Pershore 205-9 24 A Sagheer 5-32, Evesham 73 a/o 4 S Miles 4-26, A Hill 4-35. Pershore won by 132 runs.

Stourbridge 158 a/o 5, Stourport 162-8 20. Stourport won by 2 wickets.

Astwood Bank 126 a/o 4 L Deeprose 6-49, Worcester 129-7 20. Worcester won by 3 wickets.