RICHARD Harvey’s Stone firsts side recorded a remarkable one wicket victory off the last ball in a pulsating game against Whitmore in the NSSCL Premier A clash.
Whitmore batted first and they hit the ground running with opener Tom Meredith hitting 84 and lower down the order a quickfire stand of 85 between Yasim Murtaza and Justin Mould took them to 245-6 from 55 overs.
George Hawbrook was Stone’s best bowler with 2-21 and there were two wickets a piece for Russ Ballard and Matt Coxon.
In reply, Stone had lost prolific opener Luke Cheadle for 18, and despite all the batsmen making starts, James Dawson (32) Phil Cheadle (25) and Richard Harvey (35) only all-rounder Dave Womble reached 50 and the chase looked beyond them as the crowds started to drift away.
Chasing Whitmore’s lofty innings, Stone had slumped to 171-7 with only ten overs remaining before 19-year-old Hawbrook produced an innings to remember, scoring 61 off 39 balls including three towering sixes.
In a dramatic last over that started with Stone requiring 15 to win, Hawbrook struck a two off the first ball, then struck the second into Lichfield Road, before being run out going for a second run off the third, leaving Stone still needing six runs off three balls.
After a single to No11 Wasim Khan, up stepped veteran wicket-keeper Liam Hickey, to scoop a four to fine leg to bring the scores level, a scrambled leg bye off the last ball proving just enough to defeat the visitors.
The win could prove pivotal in their chase for the title as they sit two points behind leaders Leek with two games to go.
Stone SP’s mixture of youth and experience gained their tenth win of the season, as they triumphed by three wickets at Hanford in the NSSCL Division 3A.
Hanford opened the batting and were soon in trouble as an early double breakthrough by Andrew Winfield, followed by two wickets from son Jack, had made inroads into the batting line up.
Two wickets for Simon Farmer, plus one from Sam Bamford saw the total slump to 99-7 before a counter attacking innings from Muhammed Akthar hit 89 from 86 balls including six sixes which rescued Hanford.
The introduction of bowler Shafique Hussain and the return of Sam Bamford curtailed the hitting, as the home side were bowled out for 202 from 49 overs.
In reply, Stone SP started badly against the pace of Zafar Iqbal, falling to 7-2, before 16-year-old Will Weston (68) and 15-year-old Adam Pursell (25) added 60 for the third wicket.
After the quick departure of young Jack Winfield, captain Jason Revill joined Weston and the pair added 78 before Weston fell with the score at 152.
All rounder Simon Famer hit a rapid 21 to almost get Stone over the line, leaving the skipper to finish the job undefeated on 62.
This result leave Stone fourth in the league, four points off third place with the two promotion spots already being decided.