AN INNINGS of high quality from Warwickshire Academy star Finn McCreath helped a below par Kenilworth Wardens hold on for a losing draw at home to Birmingham League Premier Division basement boys Wolverhampton.
Winning the toss on a green, slow and low wicket, skipper Mark Pidgeon chose to bowl first.
However, the visitors started brightly with Worcestershire’s Tom Fell and former Surrey squad member Anesh Kapil capitalising on some wayward bowling.
Kapil was the first man to go, adjudged LBW off Prerak Mankad to a ball which looked to be sliding down leg and as McCreath replaced Rowe at the clubhouse end, he immediately saw Fell depart to a mistimed pull for 30.
Tidy bowling from Mankad (2-26) helped to keep one end pinned down but Wolverhampton captain Zen Malik kept runs flowing the other end before losing partners Simon Lycett (12) and Amritpal Singh (14) with the away side handily placed on 150-5 with 20 overs remaining.
Malik along with keeper Will Nield put on 50 for the sixth wicket before the introduction of spinner Dan Mousley saw Malik caught in the deep for a well made 71.
Mousley proceeded to rip through the tail to finish with fine figures of 4-23 and the Wolverhampton innings terminated on 267-9, owed much to by the 37 extras conceded by the home side.
In reply, former West Bromwich Dartmouth seamer Aaron Patel produced one of the spells of the season, removing Nick Seager, Robin De Regt and Mousely to leave Wardens wobbling at 47-3.
McCreath attempted to rebuild the innings but Patel had other ideas, finding late swing to see Johnson and Mankad depart without troubling the scorers.
At 57-5 with 30 overs of the game remaining Wolverhampton sensed victory, but as McCreath picked off spinners Khan and Malik, Max Silvester fell LBW to the latter.
Richard Anthony showed the mental strength to help kill off any chance of defeat as he played patiently for 37 off 76 balls before becoming Malik’s second victim to a well taken return catch.
McCreath brought up his 50 off 85 balls with a crashing blow of spinner Khan and despite falling late on to Patel (6-69), Wardens had secured the losing draw as Pidgeon and Hancock blocked out the few remaining balls to see Wardens maintain sixth place with nine games remaining in the campaign.