LEAMINGTON moved 45 points clear at the top of Birmingham League Division Two thanks to a six-wicket home win over Water Orton on Saturday.
Water Orton won the toss and chose to bat first and they made a very strong start with opening pair Matthew Dawes and Sukhjit Singh quickly building a partnership of 63 in 12 overs. Dawes was the first to fall, having scored 43 off 39 balls (including 8 fours), bowled by an always threatening Grant Thornton.
From this point on Water Orton crumbled. Only the stalwart Singh soldiered on, eventually scoring 22 (caught at mid-on by captain Rob Williams off Faisal Khalid’s bowling). He had been joined by five other batsmen, none of whom managed double figures.
This was down to the early introduction of the off-spin of Nabeel Ashgar (5 for 17 off 11 overs) and the continued threat of Thornton (3 for 35 off 10).
Water Orton tumbled from 63-1 in the 12th over to 112 all out in the 32nd. Singh and the experience of Lesroy Irish (11no) were the only stand-out sign of resistance, but they simply ran out of partners.
Irish continued to show his craft by taking the wicket of Leamington opener Shahbaz Alam (4) in the first over, caught behind.
Fellow opener Jonathan Wigley was joined by Ollie Currill and together they put on a fine partnership of 49 when Currill was out lbw (off the bowling of Stephen Bevan, 2 for 43 off 9 overs).
David Bailey (12) joined Wigley to take the score to 75, at which point Wigley was caught having scored a most valuable 43.
It was left to the final pairing of Lee Hopkins (25 off 27 balls) and Max Webber (21 off 14 balls) to finish the game with a flurry of strong, sensible batting, each scoring 5 fours in a very short time). Leamington were 124-4 off 27.4 overs and another 24 points had been added to their total.
This meant that not only had Leamington kept hold of their position at the top of the division, they had increased their lead to 45 points as second placed Stourbridge could only manage a losing draw at Attock.
In addition, the First XI are currently top of the Birmingham and District’s ‘Team of the Year’ standings, having amassed more points than any other team in the entire league.
On Saturday Leamington visit Tamworth.