A THREE-WICKET defeat to Bridgnorth has dented Leamington’s Birmingham & District Premier Division Two title bid.
Spa only managed a 138-9 total from their innings, a score which was comfortably surpassed by the hosts in the 36th over.
Batting first after winning the toss, the visitors slipped to 36-6 after a torrid start by their top order.
Harrison Smith (5) and Luke De Souza (2) were both dismissed in the space of five balls, while Waqar Ahmed (3), William Mashinge (0), Oliver Currill (1) and Chris Calcott (11) all suffered a similar fate at the crease.
A seventh-wicket partnership of 61 between Nabeel Asghar (27) and top scorer Jonathan Wigley (39) helped save face somewhat – taking Spa towards the 100-run mark.
But with Wigley caught and bowled by David Exall (2-20), followed by Nick Couzens’ (5) dismissal shortly after at 107-9, Spa appeared to be heading out for a measly total.
Tail-ender Matthew Davison (27no) helped keep his side’s slim hopes alive, although those hopes were always set to be shortlived after failing to demonstrate their title-challenging form.
Bridgnorth made a steady start when opening with a 36 partnership through Ian Gregory (14) and David Exall (20) – totals which became the norm throughout the duration of the innings.
Asghar (4-19) made things interesting with several dismissals, including two in the space of three balls in the 13th over, to leave Bridgnorth in a more precarious position than anticipated at 96-7.
Number eight Sam Whitney (28) had different ideas though, coming to the fore to rescue his side alongside Mark Macpherson-Lees (11) to see out victory.
The result leaves Leamington fourth in the league, 13 points off current leaders Harborne, with just three matches to go.
Leamington host ninth-placed Halesowen on Saturday (noon).