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A BRILLIANT all-round display from Anthony Wilkinson steered Kenilworth Wardens to a crucial six wicket Birmingham League Division One win at Shifnal on Saturday.
The 25-year old grabbed 2-16 from 14 overs of frugal off-spin as Shifnal were dismissed for 127, before contributing an authoritative unbeaten 68, to steer Wardens over the line with three overs remaining.
After Scott Stenning won a crucial toss, three quick wickets from pacemen Dan Wood and Ali Wilkinson put the hosts on the back foot.
However, George Collins stood firm for an 86-ball 44, before an hour-long rain interruption shifted the momentum of the match.
Following the resumption, patient contributions from home skipper Anthony Parker (27) and Joe Chadwick (24) further stalled Wardens’ charge, before Sitanshu Kotak eventually dismissed both, then polished off the tail to finish with 5-37 from 15.1 typically accurate overs.
Kotak’s intervention ended the hosts’ innings in the 48th over, which left the visitors 35 overs to overhaul a 127 run target.
Although Keith Bell and Kotak both got starts on a slow surface, it was Wilkinson, whose unbeaten 68 came from 92 balls with seven boundaries, who made the crucial contribution.
He was joined by Andy Whitehall (16no) to clinch the victory which eased Wardens’ relegation worries ahead of next week’s local derby with Coventry.
Nick Whiting boosted his season’s tally to 24 wickets, to put Wardens 2nds in a strong position against Barnards Green before rain intervened.
Helped by a sequence of batsmen who appeared to have a train to catch, Whiting grabbed 3-26 and opening partner Sam White 2-30 as the visitors subsided to 56 for 5 from 11.1 overs.
The same storm brought an equally abrupt end to Wardens 3rds Cotswold Hills Division Three clash against Woodbourne, with the visitors 71 for 2 from 15 overs.
However, it arrived too late to rescue Wardens 4ths who were dismissed for 47 by Leamington 4ths and slipped to a ten wicket defeat.
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