20th May, 2019

Warwick remain top despite near disastrious early declaration against Kings Heath

CRICKET: TABLE topping Warwick faced Kings Heath 2nds at Hampton Road on Saturday hoping to extend or at least maintain their Warwickshire Division Five lead.

Matthew Warren won the toss and chose to bat on what looked like a hard and true track with a lightning quick outfield.

For the fourth time this season, Warwick openers Adrian Passey (30) and Graeme Burke (114) cemented another 50 run partnership before Passey was dismissed while the score was on 83.

Naresh Airody (15) and Graeme Burke built another 50-run partnership for the second wicket to take the score to 137/2 before Naresh Airody was bowled by opposing skipper Homer.

It was Warwick’s third wicket stand which put Warwick in the driving seat though as James Sood (68) and opener Burke put on 80 in quick time.

Burke has started well this season on several occasions, but on Saturday he really knuckled down to hit his first 100 of the season and a classy but clinical one where he dominated the bowling attack.

Burke was eventually dismissed when chopping the ball back onto his stumps.

Sood was then caught at fine leg for 68 off just 45 balls with ten boundaries and two sixes.

Skipper Matthew Warren (27*) and Rajan Bhatti (15*) then decided to declare in the 43rd over while the score stood at 288/5, leaving Kings Heath with 57 overs to bat.

The pair’s decision to declare appeared to backfire though when Bhatti and Osborne couldn’t break Kings Heath’s opening batsmen.

Abhishek Sharma was brought into the attack and had an lbw decision go his way with the first ball of his spell.

Kings Heath built another partnership for the second wicket and the game was well and truly in the balance until the experience of Adrian Passey was bought into the attack for the first time this season.

This was closely followed by first team debutant Richard Ingram bowling opener McDowell for 65.

Though Warwick felt as though they were on the front foot, Kings Heath edged their way back into the game with some big-hitting shots from Bird (43*).

The game went down to the last over with Kings Heath needing 14 to win.

Warwick held tough though and won the game by four runs.

Next week is the top of the table clash between Warwick and Attock at Hampton Road which should be a cracking encounter.

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