A cricket ball. Pic: Tc7

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Lichfield CC entertained the form team in the Birmingham League Division 3 as unbeaten Barnards Green made the trip to the city. On winning the toss, the hosts had no hesitation in batting first – a decision which looked to be a good one as opening bowlers Liddiard and Wilkinson wreaked havoc  in the top order. The visitors crashed to 26-5 thanks to some fine bowling and a couple of rash shots. After a slow start to the season Liddiard showed his class with a quality opening burst as he collected three wickets. Wilkinson was also in good form showing much improved control and aggression as everything seemed to be going Lichfield’s way, Wilkinson bowled 11 overs on the bounce, picking up two wickets. A resilient 29 from Hooper was the only contribution from the visiting top order. Wickets continued to tumble as Woodfield and Stone applied further pressure with the ball as the score crept to 100-8. However, it was certainly a game which got away from the home side as Wheeler – batting at eight – hit 32 off 30 balls. Dovey at ten hit 33 off 60 balls and Williams batting at 11 hit 35 off 40 balls in a last wicket stand of 66 which was to prove vital to the result. Lichfield went into tea knowing they should have wrapped the inning up for less than 140, but were now facing the daunting task of chasing 185. But after last weekend’s comfortable chase the home side were still confident. However, what was to follow was one of Lichfield’s worst batting displays in many years and the city side were indebted to a brilliant 81 off 88 balls from overseas player Jonny Bassett-Graham to give the score some respectability. Bassett-Graham, up against his fellow countryman and first class player McEwan, showed his class with shots all round the ground against a fast seaming ball. Infortunately none of the other batters offered any resistance against some good bowling. Only Sarginson and Seager made double figures as the home side crashed to 116 all out, losing their last five wickets for just two runs to crash to a 69 run defeat in a game they should have wrapped up. Lichfield face Studley at home on Saturday and will be looking to put in a much improved performance, following a shocking performance where the city side lacked any sort of killer instinct with the ball and showed no character with the bat. There was better news for the city side as they  progressed into the semi-final of the Dunstall Knockout where they will face hosts Dunstall following a thrilling last over success against Tamworth. An outstanding fielding and bowling display restricted a strong Tamworth batting line up to 130. Lichfield needed a quickfire 40 from Filer, plus good contributions from Braddock (24), Seager (21 not out) and Burton (23 not out) to win with two balls to spare. The semi final will take place on Monday (July 4) at Dunstall CC, 6.30pm start.