A BRILLIANT unbeaten 154 from Kidderminster’s Mike Hill thwarted Kenilworth Wardens’ charge to Birmingham Premier League victory.
The Staffordshire left-hander’s superb knock enabled his team to salvage a draw despite at one stage being 32 for 6 in response to Wardens’ 279 for eight.
Hill arrived at the crease after Brinder Phagura’s two new-ball victims included the prize wicket of home skipper and former Worcestershire opener Matt Pardoe.
An injury to Blake Maher then saw Junead Zaman enter the attack in the seventh over and his lively outswing quickly demolished the hosts’ middle order.
However, Hill immediately launched a superb counter-attack, which took him to an even-time ton and kept Kiddy’s win hopes flickering.
He added 67 for the seventh wicket with Ryan Field (10), before eventually settling for a more sedate approach and a share of the points while building an unbroken 113-run alliance with Tom Kimberlin.
The hosts eventually closed on 213 for seven, as Wardens’ six-man attack was only able to claim one scalp in the closing 40 overs on a typically flat Chester Road pitch.
Kidderminster’s keeper, who batted two hours and 100 balls for his unbeaten 30, proved a resolute partner as Hill’s superb 150-ball knock included 19 fours and five sixes.
Zaman (3 for 68) was the pick of Wardens attack, while Phagura claimed 3 for 49.
Earlier, Donald’s 87 headlined a consistent Wardens batting performance which took them to a par score on a ground with the square boundaries pulled in.
Opener Nick Seager’s recent rich vein of form continued with a powerful 43 and Maher also looked set for a big score before falling also for 43 made from 48 balls, but Wardens were faltering at 143 for four when Nathan Edwards joined his skipper.
The all-rounder reprised his excellent knock at Berkswell three weeks previously by contributing a mature 45 to a 96-run fifth wicket partnership.
Zaman then provided excellent late impetus by thrashing 16 from seven balls, while Donald accelerated sharply in the closing stages, before being caught in the deep from the final ball of Wardens’ allowance after stroking ten fours and a six in his 116-ball knock.
Pardoe’s tidy 17-over spell of slow left-arm caught the eye, but it was seamer Liam Weston (4 for 54) who finished with the best return for the hosts.
There were plenty of reasons for visiting skipper Martin Donald to be upbeat about his team’s 17 point return, which keeps them firmly in the runners-up race behind champions elect Berkswell.