FOUR wickets from Sitanshu Kotak and a Martin Donald half century steered Kenilworth Wardens to a run-filled Birmingham League Premier Division losing draw at Brockhampton on Saturday.
Indian ace Kotak returned 4-89 as the hosts took full advantage of perfect batting conditions to pile up 317-8, before Wardens skipper Donald contributed an entertaining 61 in his team’s 222-6 in response.
However, it was Birmingham League veteran Chris Boroughs whose accomplished hundred stole the headlines. He received excellent support from his captain Ben Stebbings (87) as the hosts batted Wardens out of the game and in the process kept their title challenge ticking along.
Opener Adam Hewlett’s breezy 51 got Brock away to a useful start, but it was Stebbings’ and Boroughs’ 104-run third wicket alliance which gave the hosts control of the match.
Former Walsall all-rounder Boroughs struck 14 fours and five sixes in his brilliant 131-ball 122, while Herefordshire star Stebbings struck four boundaries and five maximums in an even time 87.
Keeper Chris Powell contributed quick late runs as the hosts defied a fine 17-over Kotak spell to pass 300 in the closing stages.
After Wardens’ response suffered the early loss of Nick Seager, teenager opener Arjun Bath again seized the opportunity offered by Keith Bell’s absence to impress with a solid 46.
Middle-order men Scott Stenning (26) and Raj Chohan (28) also got starts, before Donald’s typically powerful half century lit up the match’s closing stages.
He struck five fours and four sixes in a 61-ball 61, to dominate a 95-run fifth wicket partnership with Chohan. The hosts’ seven-man attack shared the wickets, as Eian Marillier and Tony Wilkinson saw Wardens to a comfortable draw and eight points.
Seventh placed Wardens host fifth placed Dorridge on Saturday.
LEAMINGTON remain unbeaten in Birmingham League Division Two as they increased their lead over second placed Penkridge to 24 points thanks to a comfortable four-wicket win at Stourbridge.
The hosts won the toss and elected to bat first on an excellent batting wicket and got off to the best possible start as openers Bingham (55) and Game (41) put on 116 for the first wicket.
This meant it had been over 80 overs and 393 runs between Leamington taking wickets as a bowling unit as Attock’s second wicket partnership the week before was a mammoth 277.
However, the introduction of Nabeel Ashgar turned the game in the visitors’ favour as his outstanding effort of 6-60 meant Stourbridge never got away from the visitors in compiling a competitive 249-7 in their 55 overs.
Hassan (42) supported the excellent start the Stourbridge openers had made.
In reply, Leamington got off to the worst possible start as Alam and Wigley were both dismissed early, leaving Leamington 10-2.
A third wicket partnership of 58 between Mark Lewis and David Bailey (32) got the innings back on track before Lee Hopkins (44) joined Lewis in a fourth wicket partnership of 85 before Hopkins was bowled.
Debutant Ross Briscoe then joined Lewis in a match-winning partnership as the pair hunted down the required six an over off the last 20 overs. The pair had added 92 before Lewis was wrongly adjudged LBW after compiling a wonderful 82, but this left Briscoe to see his side across the line with an aggressive and brilliant 65 not out, including some huge sixes.
Despite losing a couple of late wickets, Leamington eased to 250-6 with 19 balls remaining to clinch the maximum 24 points.
A key game awaits this weekend as Penkridge make the visit to Leamington on Saturday.