Leamington open season with crushing loss to Smethwick - The Leamington Observer

Leamington open season with crushing loss to Smethwick

Leamington Editorial 4th May, 2017   0

CRICKET: LEAMINGTON’S league season got off to a faltering start with the first and second XIs losing their opening fixtures.

The club’s first team arrived at Smethwick to find a wicket which favoured bowlers – and skipper Lee Hopkins lost the crucial toss which saw Leamington put into bat.

Smethwick’s experienced attack used the conditions well, and Leamington’s new look batting line-up played poorly with only Alex Mellor passing 20.

A total of 94 all out was well below par, even on a difficult surface.

Smethwick bowler Mo Sheikh took an impressive three wickets for seven runs while Sajid Ahmedazai, Mohammad Jan and Qasim Shah each picked up two wickets.

Conditions after the break eased a little as the wicket dried.

Despite this, Tom Warner struck in his first over.

But Sheikh anchored Smethwick’s reply – scoring a patient 42 as the Black Country team eased to victory by six wickets.

Warner dismissed Sheikh – one of two catches for Mellor – but Leamington were well beaten.

In contrast, the second XI featured in a game on an excellent wicket at Arlington Avenue – where more than 500 runs were scored.

Unfortunately Leamington didn’t score as many runs as their Kenilworth Wardens rivals though.

The visitors batted first and were helped by Dan Phillips (56) and Robin De Regt (65) who made a fine start to Kenilworth’s innings.

They added 141 for the second wicket.

Richard Anthony made a quick-fire unbeaten 70 as Wardens took tea on 258-5 after 45 overs – a challenging total, aided by 32 extras.

Leamington’s response was led by the ageless David Hawkes (46) and newcomer Jon Hall (25).

But a mid-order collapse saw Wardens in the ascendancy.

However the arrival of Mohammed Dogar at the crease, joining Lee Credgington, saw Leamington firmly back in the match.

Dogar’s robust hitting, including five 6s, ended when he was bowled for 69 in the last over, leaving Credgington undefeated on 42.

Leamington closed on 253 -8, giving wardens a narrow five run win.


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