22nd Jul, 2019

Wardens dodge Premier Division drop despite Wolverhampton loss

CRICKET: LINGERING thoughts of relegation from the Birmingham Premier League disappeared at Kenilworth Wardens on Saturday as rivals Walsall and Kidderminster both lost their respective games.

Though Wardens could celebrate surviving the drop, they did fall short against Wolverhampton despite welcoming Hancock and Seagar back into the side.

Wardens won the toss and asked Wolverhampton to bat first.

Overseas star Prerak Mankad brought early success for the home side as Jaswel was caught at slip.

But it took Wardens 30 overs and 130 runs until they could celebrate their next wicket as South African Kleinweld (63) and Zulk Malik (89) steadied Wolverhampton’s innings.

After the dismissal of Kleinweld – who was brilliantly run-out by Mankak – wickets started to fall at regular intervals as only James Hammond could reach double figures.

But it was Hammonds 35 ball innings of 56 that saw Wolverhampton to an above par total of 260/8 from their 50 overs.

Wardens made a steady start in reply, though they struggled to cope with the pace of former Surrey bowler Aneesh Kapil (34/4).

Kapil sent Brammer (18), Seager (20), Mankad (9), and Zaman (0) all back to the pavillion cheaply.

Despite sound knocks from Harry Johnson (22) and Finn McCreath (43), Wardens’ innings could not get going and a burst of four wickets for 37 from Twohig brought the game to an end shortly after the mid-innings drinks break.

Wolverhampton won by 117 runs while Wardens could only use 31 of their 50 overs.

2ND XI

STRENGTH in depth Wolverhampton secured the Premier Division 2nd XI title on Saturday against Wardens.

Wardens batted first after winning the toss on and used, challenging, wicket.

Despite useful starts, both Wardens openers were removed by Hennessy (42/3) as he trapped Rex LBW and clean bowled Marillier (24).

All of Wardens’ top and middle order got off to useful starts, but none were able to go on to post any significant score on a wicket that offered good bowling assistance.

When former first team skipper Donald was caught at long off for 21, it was left to young Tommy Rex (47) with support from Anthony (36) and Madley (25) to push Wardens to a par score off 221.

In reply, table toppers Wolverhampton – who knew victory would give them the Premier division title – set about their run chase in dominant fashion.

The powerful Singh hit Wardens opening bowlers out of the attack with a flurry of boundaries.

Singh continued to despatch the bad ball in a dominant batting display, bringing up his hundred off only 75 balls.

Singh’s opening stand of 153 with the league’s leading run scorer Lycett was chanceless as the partnership mixed power and patience in equal measure.

Once Pidgeon had bowled Singh for 106, Wardens had to remove Lycett to have any chance of victory.

Despite the efforts of the spin quartet of Pidgeon, Clayton, Donald and B Rex, Lycett offering no significant chances as he steered his side to victory in the 43rd over.

Picture: Steve Jonhson.

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