Blake Maher ripped through Walsall’s batting to clinch a 38-run Birmingham Premier League home win for KENILWORTH WARDENS.
The tall seamer grabbed five for 36 as the visitors were dismissed for 109 in 26.1 overs in response to the hosts’ 147 all out.
With the help of some reliable catching, Maher and regular new ball partner Brinder Phagura (2 for 24) took advantage of a damp Glasshouse Park pitch and gloomy conditions to reduce Walsall to 40 for eight.
Only Ed Denham (13) made it into double figures until spinner Paul Byrne and veteran seamer Paul Wicker provided some stern ninth wicket resistance.
The experienced pair added 66, and brought the prospect of an unlikely away win into sight, until the introduction of Basit Zaman’s leg spin brought Wardens a vital breakthrough.
He induced Byrne to edge into Nick Sale’s secure gloves for a battling 43-ball 39, after which older brother Junead cleaned up last man Jonathan Moore leaving Wicker with an unbeaten 23 and Wardens victorious.
Earlier, Moore (3 for 13) and Tim Maxfield (3 for 22) had also wreaked havoc with the new ball, reducing the hosts to 23 for five after they had elected to bat first.
However Wardens were able to regroup to reasonable effect around a fine knock from Nathan Edwards, who made a mature 71-ball 42.
His efforts were continued by ninth pair Sale (23) and Dan Mousley (21 not out) who added the 39 vital runs which took wardens to a score which proved competitive enough in bowler-friendly conditions.