NICK Seager returned to form with a hard-hitting 77 but it was not enough for KENILWORTH WARDENS who were unable to force victory on a flat pitch at Barnt Green.
The powerful opener’s 63-ball knock got the visitors off to a flying start in Saturday’s Birmingham Premier League fixture, after which a half-century from Blake Maher and useful contributions from all the top six saw Wardens to a formidable 295 for nine.
Seager, who smashed 14 fours and a six in his violent knock, added 116 with opening partner Harry Johnson (29). After the duo fell to consecutive Tom Brown deliveries, Basit Zaman (27) joined Maher, whose 49-ball 53 included a six and six boundaries, to add 59 for the third wicket.
Stenning (35) and Brinder Phagura (26) then ensured Wardens went well past the 250 mark, but with only 95 coming from the final 19 overs, it required a last-over flurry from Nick Sale to take the visitors to an above-par score.
Former Leamington seamer Luke Radford found some pace and bounce to return 3-77, but off-spinner Brown was the pick of the home attack, returning 4-64 from 17 steady overs.
Barnt Green’s chase then looked extremely threatening at 189 for two, but four wickets from acting captain Scott Stenning’s tidy off-spin plus accurate spells from Junead Zaman and Brinder Phagura saw the hosts opt for a draw at 258 for 7.
Green’s second wicket pair Tom Banton (79) and Ed Pollock (26) survived Phagura’s usual probing new-ball spell to add 73, then Matt Lamb joined Banton in a threatening third wicket alliance.
The bearded middle-order man atoned for an earlier bad dropped catch by making a fine 100-ball 82, before being brilliantly caught by Nathan Edwards in the deep off Stenning shortly after Banton’s fluent 112-ball 79 had also been ended by Wardens’ off-spinner.
Medium-pacer Junead Zaman exerted some good control bowling in tandem with his skipper, and when the return of Phagura produced two more quick wickets, Barnt Green called off the chase with 55 required from the final four overs, which left keeper Jayme Crouch and Brown to comfortably claim a share of the spoils.
The 15 point haul keeps Wardens in third place in the Premier League table at the season’s midpoint, although they probably need to topple leaders Berkswell in two weeks’ time if their title hopes are to extend deep into the season.