JON WIGLEY produced a man-of-the-match performance to help Leamington Firsts claim a vital winning draw against relegation rivals Wellington.
Wigley hit 51 with the bat and then took five wickets with the ball as Leamington moved 15 points ahead of their second-from-bottom Shropshire hosts in the Birmingham League Division One.
Following heavy rain the match was reduced to 24 overs a side and unsurprisingly Leamington were asked to bat first when Lee Hopkins lost the toss.
In conditions suited to seam bowling, Leamington made a cautious start, passing 50 before Alex Mellor was bowled by Wendell Wagner.
Wigley was adapting well to the conditions, but found limited support from the middle order and he was fourth out for a well-made 51. Leamington closed their truncated innings on 122-7, with Martin Delaney taking three wickets for Wellington.
In turn the Shropshire side found conditions equally testing, as Wigley tore through the top order.
He dismissed the top three, all clean bowled, and added a fourth when Wagner was dismissed leaving Wellington 59-5. Matt Davison claimed two scalps as Leamington sensed an improbable victory, but Wellington held on, reaching 92-8 when time was called.
Wigley snared 5-27 to cap a man-of-the-match performance, as Leamington earned 18 points to increase the gap over Wellington in the tense relegation battle.
This Saturday, Leamington entertain Himley.
n <b>Leamington Second XI </b>were in a strong position at home to Harborne, when rain swept in over Arlington Avenue.
Batting first, Harborne struggled from the start, once Sumantro Das shook off his jet lag. The New Yorker bagged three wickets aided by some smart catches and Tim Smedley bowled a good spell, cleaning up Stef Wood as he played down the wrong line.
Leamington maintained the squeeze on Harborne as Steve Dyer and Jim Gethins bowled tight spells, aided by indifferent batting. Harborne made a slight recovery to 115-7 in 40 overs when the rain washed out play.
n The <b>Thirds</b> had a similar fate on the adjacent Flavels ground as visitors Alcester & Ragley reached 116-2 when play was abandoned. The excellent Will Mobberley took two wickets.
Both teams took six points and remain in a relegation scrap with four other sides in the Cotswold Hills League Premier Division.
n The <b>Fourth </b>team match moved on at a pace at Henley In Arden in Division Four but ultimately play was abandoned with Leamington holding the whip hand.
In a strange innings, Henley were skittled for 140 in only 22 overs, with their skipper mounting a lone challenge as he struck boundary after boundary making 90. Shaun Williams, relieved of captaincy duties, gained four wickets.
Leamington set about their reply as the skies darkened with Will Dixon in imperious form. Despite a break for tea, he found the boundary with regularity, smiting five sixes in a quick-fire 62 not out.
The rain, however, came to save Henley with Leamington 85-1 in the 14th over.
n Sunday’s fixture at Knowle & Dorridge was abandoned without a ball bowled.