23rd Sep, 2019

Team performance helps Leamington boost chances of avoiding Division One relegation

CRICKET: AN all round team performance from Leamington helped boost chances of the club avoiding relegation from Division One of the Birmingham League.

The Spa side earned a timely victory over fellow strugglers Attock on Saturday as the Birmingham-based side batted first.

Attock made a bright start through openers Arsalaan Mahmood and Omar Masood.

The pair put on 63 for the first wicket before both fell in consecutive balls.

Leamington bowler Wigley then struck to reduce Attock to 88/3, but Leamington had to wait a long time for their next success as Mohammed Khan and Sarmad Bhatti put on a century fourth wicket stand.

Skipper Lee Hopkins rotated Leamington’s bowlers well and Attock, though in a strong position, were never able to break free.

The partnership was broken when Khan was bowled by Matt Davison for 55.

Bhatti then lacked support from the rest of Attock’s batting attack as they could only reach 217/9 from their 50 overs.

Leamington faltered in reply as Jon Wigley was run out for just 4.

Veteran David Hawkes was joined by Sulaiman Hussain as they moved Leamington to 83 before Hawkes (28) was stumped.

Although Smith had little impact with the bat, a dominant fifth wicket stand between Hopkins and Nathan Hooker helped guide Leamington to victory.

The pair helped Spa reach their target with eight overs in hand – Hopkins finishing with a run-a-ball unbeaten 73 while Hooker ended on 30*.

The win saw Leamington move to fourth from bottom, meaning one more win from their concluding two matches will secure their Division One status.

2nd XI

Leamington’s second team made the long trip to Brockhampton, but left Herefordshire’s empty handed.

Batting first, Leamington made a reasonable start through Joe Somra (20) amd Matt Payne (30) and then Nick Couzens made a half-century as the total grew.

A mid-innings wobble following Couzens dismissal (51) saw Brockhampton gain control of the game.

Determined to set the hosts a competitive target, Jim Gethins (34*) and Sumantro Das (32*) took Leamington to a par score of 220/7 off their 45 overs.

Brock made a strong start in reply through James Mokler and Glynn Harrhy – the latter making 39 before falling to Rob Lord.

Couzens chipped in with two wickets. And when Moklar was stumped for 67, Leamington seemed favourites to claim the win.

But Brock keeper Charlie Scott was joined by Jacob Broadbridge, and the pair were untroubled by Leamington’s eight-man attack.

They coasted to a five-wicket win, reaching 222 with a dozen overs in hand.

3rd XI

Relegation was confirmed for Leamington’s 3rd XI after they suffered an expected loss against champions Wellesbourne.

Despite removing four of Wellesbourne’s top order relatively cheaply – including the prolific Garry Maynard for 32 – Leamington were unable to press home their advantage.

Wellesbourne skipper Dave Barnett and Jamie Maynard, who both spent some time at Leamington as juniors, combined to send Wellesbourne out of site.

Barnett made an unbeaten 105 and Maynard 78 as Wellesbourne closed on 269/5.

Leamington were never in the hunt and were dismissed for 179, with four batsmen falling to the deceptive bowling of Tom Stephenson.

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