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CRICKET: Goatacre batsmen step up to the mark
1:47pm Thursday 22nd August 2013 in Sport
ED Wilkins is delighted Goatacre have shrugged off the “one-man team” tag labelled against them earlier this term as their renaissance in the second half of the season continues.
The Premier Two outfit beat Cheltenham by one wicket with one ball to spare on Saturday to consolidate fourth spot and secure a sixth successive win from completed matches, all but one of which have come without Ed Kilbee following the prolific opening batsman’s defection to Birmingham League side Cannock.
However, Wilkins & co have turned around a season that started as a relegation dogfight and now, albeit requiring a minor miracle, could end in promotion.
Wilkins said: “Jack (Haines) had 85 the week before so it’s nice for more of us to be contributing some big scores.
“I think Jack and I have both had five 50s in the league now and George Rigali is chipping in with a few as well.
“It’s nice to prove we’re not a one-man team, which I think a lot of teams thought we were.
“I think we’ve played five league games without him this year and won all five. I was chatting to the Cheltenham captain after the game and he said that once he saw Kilbs had left he thought we’d struggle.
“It’s nice to prove these teams wrong as well, really.”
Wilkins’ 90 in a successful chase of 241 on Saturday was the highest individual score made by any Goatacre player, with the exception of Kilbee this season.
“I had a couple of 50s to start with and then had a bit of a dip but I’ve managed to come back in the last four or five games,” said Wilkins.
“I had a really rubbish year in the league last year – I didn’t manage to get one 50 – so to get five is good.
“It’s just a shame I couldn’t go on and get a ton on Saturday.
“It was a really good batting track and though they got 240 we always thought we were in the game at tea time, because it was one of the best tracks we’ve played on this year.
“It was about getting a good start, which Jack and I managed to do. Jack got 60 and I got 90 in the end.
“It would have been nice to go on and get 100 but that start put us in the driving seat.
“It was always going to get more difficult when the spinners came on in the middle and applied pressure but we had the platform to let us see it through.”
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