CRICKET: KENILWORTH Wardens travelled to Shrewsbury on Saturday following three consecutive Birmingham Premier League wins.
But Wardens were sent packing by a disciplined Shrewsbury teams whose all round performance left Wardens struggling in all departments as they crashed to a nine wicket defeat.
Shrewsbury’s star opening bowler Mike Barnard bagged nine wickets for just 36 runs in 15 overs of steady pace bowling.
Wardens won the toss and elected to bat on a firm track, but with showers promised there was always a chance of rain interruptions as the afternoon progressed.
As it turned out the innings was interrupted on three occasions, with Wardens struggling to maintain consistency throughout the stoppages.
Johnson and Seagar (18) got Wardens off to a steady start, but a pair of quick wickets rocked them back on their heels.
Johnson departed for 23 while overseas player Mankad took the score to 50.
Stenning was then brought to the wicket as he and Mankad looked in difficulty as they took the score to 110.
However the introduction John Hulton-Harrop into the attack paid immediate dividends with the unorthodox spinner claiming the wicket of Mankad (30) in his first over, caught on the boundary going for a maximum.
Two balls later new batsman Martin Donald was brilliantly caught at slip by Tim Ward to reduce the Wardens to 111/6.
Last weeks bating hero Kanram Anwar joined Stenning (37), but the innings folded quickly after the fall of Stenning, who became Hulton-Harrop’s second wicket.
The reintroduction of Barnard into the attacked saw him take the last four wickets as the Wardens closed on 167 – despite a valiant 68 ball 39 top score knock from Anwar.
After tea, Shrewsbury started their reply in afternoon sunshine – a far-cry from the earlier batting conditions which Wardens found themselves in.
Despite the early loss of Ollie Wastbury (19), Shrewsbury took total control of the game with an unbroken stand of 131 between Will Parton and Ed Foster.
Both batmen savaged the bowling with Parton finishing on 82* in just 68 balls – including ten 4s and two 6s.
In form Ed Foster, who scored two unbeaten centuries in the last two weeks, played second fiddle to Parton scoring 56* in 64 balls.
However, Forster unbeaten effort took his average for the season to over 100.
None of the six bowlers used by captain Junead Zaman had any answer to the purposefully batting of Parton and Foster, who won the game with 20 overs to spare.
An early season top of the table clash saw Wardens thrash Shifnal to take Madley’s men back to the top of the Premier Division.
After promotion last season, Warden’s excellent 2nd XI season continued.
After losing the toss, Wardens were put into field against a Shifnal side who had won four out of their five previous fixtures.
Veteran Whiting’s 15 over spell for only 42 runs seemed expensive when compared to spin twins Pidgeon and Mousley who bowled a combined 22 overs with seven wickets for 28 runs.
With only three Shifnal batsman reaching double figures, a score of 95 all out was insignificant against a buoyant Wardens side.
In reply, Brammer’s run-a-ball 52 took the attack to Shifnal and ended any chance of a Shifnal victory.
After Brammer was caught on the boundary it was left to Henderson (15*) and ever present Rex (27*) to see Wardens to an excellent 9 wicket victory.
Next week Wardens travel to Brockhampton as they aim to continue their excellent early season form.