A cricket ball. Pic: Tc7
Lichfield CC travelled to promoted Handsworth unsure of what to expect from the newcomers to the league. On a very pleasant ground with lots of local support, the city side lost the toss and were asked to bat first on a good looking pitch. Openers Price and Bassett-Graham faced some hostile early bowling but rode their luck and played some fine shots as Lichfield got off to a quick start. Price was first to go for 25 bowled by the experienced Folkes with the score on 49. C Sarginson  (47) was the mainstay of the Lichfield innings, playing some stylish shots as he and Kiwi Bassett-Graham accelerated the scoring, eventually going for a well-compiled 32 before Sargsinson was caught in the deep three short of his half century. G  James (25) was his usual assured self on his way to 25, but wickets were starting to fall at the other end, Braddock and Fielding fell cheaply before a partenrship from Seager and Stone saw Lichfield to 179-7. But with the Three Spires staring down the barrel again, a last wicket partnership of 25 between Wilkinson and Stephens – which proved to be vital in the outcome of the game – saw Lichfield finally post a competitive total of 217. Greenwood and Folkes were the pick of the bowlers both taking four wickets. In reply, Lichfield got the early breakthrough thanks to Wilkinson. James showed his all-round ability with a fine opening spell. However it was Stone and Stephens who tied the middle overs down for the city side, in particular Stone was impressive with 17 overs, six maidens 2-35. The home side were always in the game thanks to a fine innings of 64 not out from Smith, but Lichfield began to tighten the screw. James was brought back into the attack and picked up three further wickets to add to his early one to finish with 4-37. Never out of the action, James also ran out Bonner from the boundary. Lichfield had three overs to pick up the final wicket and take all 24 points, but resolute defence from Greenwood and Smith ensured the game was drawn with the city side picking up the lion’s share of the points as they ended with 15 and Handsworth took eight points.