FOUR wickets for Scott Stenning plus half centuries from Basit Zaman and Blake Maher lifted Kenilworth Wardens to an 88 run victory over Birmingham Premier League defending champions Shrewsbury on Saturday.
The Shropshire side, who are also six-time winners of the Birmingham League’s Graham Williamson Trophy, can reasonably claim to be the top club side in the country in the win-lose format, which made Wardens’ first win at Shrewsbury all the more sweeter.
Stand-in opener Zaman (63) added 95 for the visitors’ second wicket with Brinder Phagura (26). Three wickets then fell in quick succession before Wardens’ Australian import Maher shared in a useful partnership with Stenning (24).
This set the stage for skipper Martin Donald to blast a quickfire unbeaten 20, but he was upstaged by Maher who dominated their 81-run sixth wicket alliance.
The Queenslander struck seven fours and three sixes in an outstanding 65-ball unbeaten 88 as Wardens closed on 255 for five.
Ed Foster (20) and Will Parton (56) posted a 74-run opening partnership but the introduction of Stenning brought the downfall of both openers and Ben Stebbings and he also trapped last man Mike Barnard as Shrewsbury were bowled all out for 167.
Also in the Birmingham Premier Division, a third successive league defeat at Walmley leaves Leamington languishing at the wrong end of the table although there were positives to take from Saturday’s match.
Leamington’s front line bowlers all performed well with wickets split between Max Webber, Matthew Davison, Paul Lawrence, Nick Couzens and Adeel Sajid, but that did not stop Walmley reaching an impressive total of 299 for six.
Freddie Coleman top scored for the home side with 83 and he was helped out by solid knocks from opener Jamie Harrison (72) and Tom Burton (76).
In response, Leamington’s batters all got something of a start with nine players reaching double figures, but only Couzens made a score of any substance by hitting 40 at number three.
Webber made 30 as did Paul Lawrence at number ten and Couzens’ 40 at the required rate kept Leamington in the hunt, but the experienced Sultan Afsal and Kasir Shah chipped away at Leamington’s line up as the rate required increased.
Lawrence’s late flurry saw Leamington up to 224 before they were bowled out with three overs to spare.
In the Warwickshire League Divison One, Kenilworth made the trip to Birmingham to play Weoley Hill and came away with ten hard earned points following a losing draw.
Weoley Hill batted first and were soon in trouble as Kenilworth’s opening bowlers Matt Dargan (2 for 41) and Steve Rhodes (3 for 50) saw the hosts slip to 7 for 2 and then 86 for 5.
But Weoley Hill were indebted to Croft who made 79 before Kenilworth ceased control and the home side were bowled all out for 196 from 48 overs.
Kenilworth lost early wickets in their pursuit of their first win of the season and slipped to 50 for 4 then a precarious 94 for 7 following solid contributions from Tom Booker (33), Jorjeet Singh (26) and Phil Edmonds (21).
But a fine unbroken stand of 33 between Steve Rhodes (21 not out) and Tom Pope (22 not out) saw their side to a losing draw after finishing on 174 for 9 from the 52 overs they had to bat.