CRICKET: OVERSEAS star Prerak Mankad guided Kenilworth Wardens to a nail biting five run win against Kidderminster at the weekend.
Having won just a single game throughout July, Wardens appeared to be slipping in the direction of a relegation battle.
However their survival hopes were boosted as Mankad – who flew in from India to help Wardens’ cause earlier this year – took six wickets for just 52 runs from 15 overs.
Despite this, further poor fielding means Wardens still have room to improve after dropping a handful of catches
Kidderminster won the toss and invited the visitors to bat on an overcast afternoon.
Bath (22) and Rex (12) got Wardens off to a quick start before seven balls changed the complexion of the innings.
Liam Weston replaced Worcestershire’s George Scimshaw to bowl Bath with the final ball of his first over.
And worse was to follow for Wardens when Rex was out lbw from the bowling of Connor Smith before Mankad was forced to retire hurt from the last ball of that same over.
Stenning (30) joined Basit Zaman in a stand of 71 to help guide Wardens out of the rough.
But fine spin bowling from Matt Pardoe (41/4) and Neil Pinner (68/2) restricted Kenilworth’s progress.
Despite Zaman reaching his half century, Wardens lost four wickets for just 27 runs throughout the middle order – and it was left to Martin Donald and Nick Sale to rescue the situation.
Neither disappointed, Donald playing very patiently for a 95 ball innings of 59 and Sale (40) was last out on the final ball, having mustered to the tail to a respectable total of 255.
With a badly damaged thumb, Mankad teamed up with Anwar to open the bowling.
The Indian fast bowler struck twice in his third over having Beadsworth trapped lbw with his first ball before the ever dangerous Pinner was bowled three balls later to leave the home side struggling at 14/2.
Matt Pardoe (34) and Nathan Round looked to rebuild before Mankad struck for the third time have Pardoe caught with the score on 56.
Connor Smith (50) joined Round in a 102 run stand that looked to be taking the game away from the Wardens.
But it was Stenning (28/2) who struck twice in his third over, having Smith caught in the deep by Bath and five balls later George Hatfield was out for a duck.
The wickets ensured Wardens were back in the hunt, but Kidderminster’s James Kinder had other ideas with a quick fire 27 that saw the home side pass 200 without further alarm.
But when Mankad and Anwar returned to the attack, Round’s innings of 81 ended before Mankad took three wickets in three overs.
Kidderminster required 19 runs from the final 19 balls, which soon turned into ten needed from the final over.
Kimberlin (18) struck the second ball over the boundary for four before being bowled two balls later – meaning Wardens won the game by just five runs.
An inexperienced 2nd XI battled hard to earn a losing draw against Moseley.
Wardens opted to bowl first – and with one spinner and three seamers, Wardens were restricted in the field.
Despite an early wobble, Moseley reached 255/6 from their 50 overs.
In reply, Wardens quickly reached 47 without loss from just seven overs.
But once Madley was removed by Din, both danger men May and Anthony were adjudged lbw for ducks.
At 48/3, Wardens failed to recover – though batted patiently to end their innings on 171/6 to earn a losing draw.