22nd Jul, 2019

Kenilworth Wardens battle hard to claim losing draw at Berkswell

Craig Gibbons 22nd Jun, 2018

KENILWORTH Wardens managed to salvage a well earned draw away at Berkswell in the Birmingham League Premier Division.

The visitors won the toss and elected to bowl first on a green but good pitch which offered plenty of pace and bounce.

After the early dismissal of Mohammed Ahmed (2) the Swell managed to extend the score to 97 before the fall of the second wicket, Daniel Chaudhry (48) and Chris Whittock (85).

Wardens would rue a couple of key chances missed to dismiss Whittock early and the innings may have taken a different course.

At 209-3, Berkswell looked like posting an imposing total of 300-plus, however, an unexpected collapse to 235 all out buoyed the Wardens spirits as they bowled the hosts out in 54 overs and left the park with full bowling bonus points.

Mark Pidgeon was pick of the bowlers with 4-43 whilst Warden’s overseas acquisition Prerak Mankad continued his rich vein of form with the ball, returning 4-54.

Warden’s batting struggles continued as they were left 18-2 and 27-4 as Dan Mousley (27) was the only batter in the top five to make double figures.

Max Silvester steadied the ship with a flamboyant 56 not out off 68 deliveries compiling eight boundaries and one maximum.

Along with Finn McCreath (19), Rich Anthony (16) and a dogged one not out from veteran skipper Pidgeon, the visitors managed to secure the losing draw.

Wardens only had to face an allocation of 50 overs due to a short, sharp shower which saw six overs docked from the innings.

The Seconds enjoyed a 66-run victory over Brockhampton in the Premier Division Second XI.

Tom Branner hit an impressive 124 not out for Wardens who posted 241-2 from their allotted 50 overs.

Opener Ben Rex also finished unbeaten on 74.

Daniel Harris then took 6-37 with the ball as Brockhampton were hustled out for 175 inside 41 overs.

The Thirds moved into second position in Division Two of the Cotswold Hills League after completing a five-wicket win at home to leaders Dorridge.

Having won the toss and elected to bat first, Dorridge were soon in trouble with three wickets for Nick Whiting (3-17) and a run out from Simon Gough reducing the visitors to 29-4.

Mohammed Zaman (37) and Rizwan Habib (33) then put the innings back on course with a fifth wicket stand of 43, but a further mini collapse saw Dorridge falter again at 81-7.

It was left to Raheel Shah to help his team reach a competitive score with a quickfire 61 before Ollie Morgan-Jones (2-22) and Joel Jacob (2-32) combined to bring the innings to a close at 180 all out in the 44th over.

Wardens once again made a good start, with an opening stand of 86 between Fred Rex (49) and Paul Jacob (61).

Good bowling from Mohammed Zaman (2-33) and Shahib Akhtar threatened to bring Dorridge back into the game at 149-4, but 23 from Simon Gough along with an unbeaten 13 from Lewis Baker saw the home side through to victory at 183-5 in the 43rd over.

The Fourths enjoyed a tightly fought game in their Division Six fixture at Winchcombe Seconds with the hosts eventually prevailing by one wicket.

A fluctuating day saw the hosts win the toss and asking Wardens to bat first.

After losing opener John Casey with the first ball of the game, Wardens raced through to 72 off 7 overs before Jack Vickery was dismissed for 49 off just 33 balls.

The visitors continued to be positive but lost further wickets as they reached 139-4 at over five runs an over, before a dramatic collapse saw the innings fall away to 146 all out in just the 32nd over.

Adam Andrews was the pick of the bowlers for the home side with 4-33, supported by James Bellringer who took 3-6 as the visitors’ tail offered no resistance.

In response, Winchcombe lost regular wickets from the off, but a positive 58 from Harry Davies ensured they made steady progress towards their modest victory target.

However, when Sam Johnson (2-19) bowled Davies to reduce the hosts to 82 for four, Wardens sensed their opportunity to get back in the game.

With runs now hard to come by, and Keenan Khatavkar taking 4-25, the visitors appeared to be becoming favourites to snatch victory when they reduced their hosts to 111-8.

However, a dogged innings of 35 not out from 99 balls by man of the match Adam Andrews, and a ninth wicket partnership of 32 with James Bellringer, appeared to have won the game until Bellringer fell to Harry Readman (2-26) with four runs still required.

Ultimately it fell to No.11 Joe Parker to hit the winning boundary and eventually settle a topsy-turvy contest in the favour of Winchcombe, scoring the runs which took his side to 148-9 in the 46th over.

Elsewhere, the Fifths condemned Division Seven leaders Norton Lyndsay and Wolverton Thirds to their first defeat of the season.

Having lost the toss and been asked to bat first, Wardens made a solid start with good contributions from each of Charlie Johnson (22), Joe Mills (23) and Nick Lewis (34) before Arun Sekhar provided the most significant contribution with an excellent 58, allowing Wardens to reach 177-7 off their 45 overs.

Richard Yendall (4-25) and Harkan Sumal (2-30) proving to be the most successful bowlers for the hosts.

In response, Norton Lyndsay and Wolverton made a solid start against some good, accurate bowling, but with wickets falling regularly, the game was finally poised with the home side on 105-4.

However, a dramatic collapse against the bowling of young leg spinner Sam O’Connell saw the hosts all to 116 all out in the 40th over, giving Wardens victory by 57 runs.

O’Connell finishing with excellent figures of 6-14 off just 3.5 overs.

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