LEFT-ARM spinner Adam Krol returned career-best figures of 6-29 as Horspath gained a tense four-wicket win at Dinton to storm to the top of Division 2.
Bowling with flight and guile and subtle changes of pace, the wily Krol polished off Dinton’s middle and lower order as the hosts slumped to 180 all out after being 158-5.
Horspath then got home with an over to spare, and with morning leaders Reading losing by seven wickets at Great & Little Tew, Will Eason’s side have shot 18 points clear of the Berkshire club.
Dinton elected to bat first after winning the toss, but struggled to 63-4 on a slow-paced pitch.
Mohson Rana bowled Faisal Ali through the gate with his first ball of the second over, and Joey Todd’s smart legside stumping accounted for fellow opener Ashley Smith off Will Eason, who then got Matthew Renshaw to play on.
David Gibson was next to go, courtesy of a good catch over his head by Jimmy Phillips at point off Jamil Faruq.
The hosts rallied after lunch and took the score to 130, before Krol came into the attack and quickly had Philip Arnold caught at long on by Dean Conradie for 36.
Tim Brooker was the former captain’s next victim, taken by Faruq on the mid-wicket boundary for 46, before he had Najad Ur-Rehman stumped by Todd.
Krol then bowled Kelvin Burrows and Mark Ludlow, before wrapping up the innings when Nheem Amin chipped a delivery to Robbie Eason at mid-wicket.
After the early loss of Todd and Robbie Eason, Shahbaz Ali paced Horspath’s run chase well with a well-crafted 55 off 109 balls, which included five fours.
He was well supported firstly by Phillips (35) and then Mark Skelton (39), as Horspath closed in on their target.
With four runs needed off the last seven balls, Conradie smashed a delivery from Faisal Ali for six over mid-wicket to clinch the victory in style.
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