Adam Braddock at the crease for Lichfield CC. Pic: Nigel Parker/format94

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Lichfield CC were forced to settle for a losing draw against rivals Penn. On winning the toss, skipper Braddock had no hesitation in inserting the visitors with plenty of moisture in the pitch it should have been a major advantage to the home side, but some good batting and inconsistent bowling saw Penn battle their way through the tricky new ball session to reach 82-1 with skipper Dhillon looking dangerous. Stephens got the danger man Dhillon for a well made 35 before a brilliant piece of fielding from Liddiard saw Sharma follow in the next over, run out by a direct hit. Rana and the hard hitting A Lawley (52) kept the scoreboard ticking over as the Lichfield bowlers struggled to gain real control over the scoreboard. The introduction of T Filer was a major turning point as the off spinner picked up 4-38, well supported by Liddiard back for a second spell as the scoring was restricted. Penn looked to be on course for a score in excess of 230 but the tight bowling and good fielding from the city side over the last 20 overs restricted the visitors to 207. The score was 40 more than Lichfield had hoped for, but on an ever improving wicket was certainly a score which they felt they could get. After recent poor batting displays, the city side top order worked very hard against the aggressive bowling of Aussie Doggett and the accuracy and seam movement of Ismailitza. Bassett-Graham looked comfortable on his way to a well made 37 before chipping a catch to cover in a tame end.
Adam Braddock at the crease for Lichfield CC. Pic: Nigel Parker/format94
Sarginson weathered the early storm and looked to be really getting into his stride before edging Rana to the wicket keeper for 38. Skipper Braddock (34) and Burton (25) played sensibly, keeping the scoreboard ticking over as the pair took the home side to 125-3 before Burton played a rash shot and was bowled. Seager came in and gave the innings some momentum, playing high class shots off the pace of Doggett on his way to 35. Braddock was eventually caught off the bowling off Brooker as the game was very much in the balance at 163-6. Seager and Filer continued to score freely, keeping the city side in the game but some high quality spin bowling from Brooker was proving hard to get away. Filer hit a huge six to take the equation from 21 required off 17 to 15 off 16. A single followed and then Seager was stumped as he tried to hit a boundary with the score on 193 which left Lichfield needing 14 off the final two overs. Brooker and Rana held their nerve with the ball as Lichfield had to settle for the draw, falling seven runs short of the winning target. A much improved performance from the city side following recent weeks, but there is still a huge amount of improvement needed if Lichfield are to secure their Birmingham league status. Tomorrow (July 30) Lichfield travel to bottom placed St Georges knowing they must get a positive result in what is a crucial game before a tough trip to local rivals Tamworth the following week. Meanwhile, Lichfield were back to top form in the Sunday league, racking up 342 for the loss of no wicket against Cannock Wood, thanks to an unbeaten 152 from opener James Morris, 94 retired hurt from Braddock and 68 from Simms, before Wilkinson proved too hot to handle for the Wood batsmen, picking up 5-16 supported by debutant Donald who picked up two wickets for one run as Lichfield romped to a 280 run victory.

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