LEAMINGTON hung on for a draw and four points at Attock on Saturday, leaving Spa 17 points ahead of second placed Penkridge in Birmingham League Division Two.
Leamington lost the toss against a strong Attock side and were in the field in dry conditions, despite the overnight rain, and got off to the best possible start as Grant Thornton (1-96) had Sultan Mahmood LBW with the score on 3, with the seventh ball of the game.
After that, however, things did not go to plan for the visitors. Despite an excellent hostile spell with the new ball from Tom Warner and a controlled spell of spin bowling from Nabeel Ashgar, the visitors did not taste success again during their 55 overs as an astounding second wicket partnership of 277 took Attock to 280-1.
Captain Rawait Khan was first to bring up his 100 as he played a truly masterful innings and showed all of his class as he compiled 143 not out. His partner in crime, opener Mohammed Qamar Khan, also played his part as he compiled 122 not out.
Leamington, in fairness, did not bowl badly but it goes to show how well both Khans played.
In response, Leamington lost wickets regularly and were never really in with a chance of victory as the hosts bowled with great discipline to restrict the visitors to 194-9.
Mark Lewis (35) top scored while Ashgar (32no) and Thornton (22) both played valuable innings to help Leamington maintain their unbeaten record and stay top of the table as they secured the losing draw.
Karim (5-32) with his slow left-arm spin was the pick of the bowlers for the hosts as he ripped through the middle order, while Mahmood (2-42) and Anwar (2-45) – who was unable to remove number 11 Paul Lawrence during the last over of the game – also impressed.
Leamington travel to Stourbridge on Saturday and will be very keen to get their momentum back with a positive result.
SOME 451 runs were scored in the Warwickshire League Premier Division game between Kenilworth and visitors Rugby, but neither side was able to take advantage as the bowlers toiled against some very solid batting and both had to settle for a draw.
Rugby posted 250-6 thanks to Robards (82), Edwards (59no) and Ewer (58). Ed Ruswa was again the most successful Kenilworth bowler as he snapped up 3-49 whilst Neil Goodman and Dave Edmunds took a wicket each.
Goodman then turned out to be the best Kenilworth batsman on show as he made an unbeaten 62, hitting seven boundaries and two sixes, closely followed by Guy Pearson who made 45 including six boundaries after Phil Edmonds had earlier made 25 and Edmunds 22 as the hosts replied with 201-6 to secure the draw and ten points.
Kenilworth visit Hampton & Solihull on Saturday in what is an important game in the bottom half of the table.
WARWICK enjoyed a six-wicket victory over visitors Star Alvis in Warwickshire League Division Four to secure 20 points which leaves them sitting second in the table.
Batting first on a decent wicket, Star Alvis’ top order suffered an early collapse, finding themselves 3-3 after three overs after Tom Austin removed Rana for a duck and fellow opener Chohan caught behind for two, before Joe Poole removed batsmen number three for a single.
Warwick did not let up and, thanks to good bowling from Poole, Star Alvis found themselves 35-5. However, some rearguard action from number six bat Sibal (51) partnered with number seven bat Tavadia (45) helped Star Alvis to 126-5.
With Warwick looking like they had let the impetus swing towards Star Alvis, Darren Wyatt had other ideas, blowing away the last five wickets for 34 runs from ten overs, showing his class.
Austin finished with match figures of 2-46, Tom Ellis proved economical but had no wicket to show and Poole finished with 3-33 as Star Alvis set Warwick 156 to win.
Warwick set about the chase confidently until Smith fell to Rana on 17, with Warwick well in front of the rate on 42-1.
Young Matt Warren was setting about building an innings with little risk and was partnered well with number three bat Matt Hodgkin who scored a brisk 22 before falling to Sibal.
At this point Warren had sealed his 50 and Warwick looked confident on 113-2, however Warren was removed on 69 by Sibal, leaving Warwick 125-3.
Danny Robbins was next in and went for one, bowled straight up by Gandhi, however the fifth wicket partnership of Jon Davis (10no) and JJ Norton (11no) saw Warwick to victory in the 27th over.
Warwick travel to Peugeot on Saturday.