VICE-CAPTAIN Ben Griffiths praised experienced spinner Grant Carbines after Cleobury Mortimer had the upper-hand in a winning draw in a rain-affected derby with Tenbury.
Griffiths cracked 59 and was supported by skipper Mike Green (47) and Craig Shorter (38) as Mortimer were bowled out for 216 in the Worcestershire County League Division Three.
Mark Yarranton took the bowling honours for Tenbury, returning 5-55, before Carbines snapped up 4-35 and Griffiths claimed 2-16, and the visitors closed on 139-7.
Wicketkeeper Dave Hunt hit a defiant unbeaten 44 for Tenbury, while Tom Rawlings (23), Tom Pugh (20) and Mark Yarranton (19) contributed.
Griffiths said: “We were delighted to get the upper-hand and the majority of the points against Tenbury, who have got some very good players.
“The wicket was difficult on which to bat and we were very pleased to score more than 200 runs because, on a normal day, it would have been a lot more.”
He added: “Rain stopped play for an hour and Tenbury needed to score 161 from 37 overs to achieve a winning draw.
“We picked up a few wickets, with Carbines using all his experience, and Hunt was very sensible and showed his class to deny us.”
Tenbury skipper Aaron Morris missed the match – due to work commitments in London – but has had mixed reports from his team-mates.
“I thought we might have been able to chase down the total,” said Morris.
“But we were 90-3 and then 130-5 and then lost a couple of wickets and we decided to shut up shop.
“Hunt played in the first team and, hopefully, he will be keen to do that for the rest of season.
“Dave is probably the best batsman in the club and it’s great to see him playing in the first team.
“I understand that we dropped around seven catches in Cleobury’s innings and that was costly because had we taken them, we might have been chasing 170 runs. “
Morris will also be missing Tenbury’s home derby against Stourport.
“Stourport are having a very good season and will be a big test for the lads,” he said.
“We were one of the reasons that Stourport were relegated with us at the end of last season.
“They needed to beat us but we held on for a losing draw, which we pleasing.
“At the tea interval, in that match, Stourport seemed very confident of beating us and that made a few of our lads value their wickets and bat very sensibly.
“Simon Newhill should be back this weekend and Alex Mason is likely to miss this weekend but he should be back for the whole of July.”
Cleobury host Chaddesley Corbett in the league this Saturday.
Griffiths said: “We need to be aware of Pakistan’s overseas player, Mo Sidique, who bowls very quickly and takes a lot of wickets. It would be great to put on another strong team performance.”