BROMSGROVE held their nerve to see off promotion rivals Smethwick by four runs in Birmingham and District League Division One on Saturday.

The Boars had made 201-7 and the hosts had looked on course to surpass the score until captain Mark Evenson caught Qasim Shah and ensure sure Smethwick finished agonisingly short.

The 24 points lifted the Boars into third in the table and keeps them hot of the heels of leaders Ombersley and second-placed Wolverhampton.

Evenson said: “It was a very good win.

“We don’t normally win by such small margins, it’s either big wins or defeats, so it was refreshing to edge a game.

“We thought our score was about par after losing wickets in clusters.

“Smethwick are a side that really like to go for it, so we knew we had a chance but it was close.

“I was lucky enough to take the important catch but Qasim Shah looked absolutely gutted.

“It’s a win which puts us in a good position but there’s a long way to go.”

Worcestershire’s Alexei Kervezee scored 64, while Tom Underhill (41), Joe Dodd (21) and Evenson (20 not out) scored Bromsgrove’s runs.

In reply, Smethwick were thankful to Mohammed Babar (57) and Mohammed Sheikh (35) for runs before Thomas Butt (17) and Shah (22) steered the hosts to 197 all out in the 53rd over.

Ashley Newdick (4-30), James Ganderton (2-26), Alex Wilkinson (2-19) and Graeme Whiles (2-43) took the wickets for the Boars.

Bromsgrove face another huge game on Saturday at red-hot Wolverhampton.

The Black Country side were hammered by leaders Ombersley by ten wickets in a one-sided clash on Main Road.

Evenson said: “Wolverhampton had been playing well and on a roll, so it was a surprise to see them lose like that, but that defeat will make our task even harder.”