CRICKET: WARWICK got their 2017 Warwickshire League Division Five campaign off to the best of starts after they crushed visitors Highway Spartans by 99 runs in the opening league fixture of the season at Hampton Road.
The visitors won the toss and decided to bowl first on Saturday, but they were made to work hard for the breakthrough as opener Adrian Passey, ably assisted by Steve Smith and James Sood, got Warwick off to a steady start.
Skipper Matt Warren entered the fold to join Adrian Passey with the score at 53 for 2, and it proved to be the defining partnership of the game as the pair took Warwick past three figures.
Passey (34) departed to leave Warwick on 107 for 3, and it was from this platform that Matt Warren and Raj Kumar (19) were able to accelerate the scoring.
Warren finally departed for a fine 67, and some late order hitting from Rajan Bhatti (15) and Abishek Sharma (21) enabled Warwick to reach a total of 221 all out from 48.2 overs, with seam bowler Chris Bates finishing with useful figures of 4 for 33.
Warwick’s total always looked competitive, however after dropping a couple of tough chances early on- including top-scorer Martin Ivory (29) first ball of the innings- Warwick had to wait until the score was 48 before they made the breakthrough, when Abi Sharma (1 for 21) had Highway opener Simson (14) caught behind by keeper Graeme Burke.
From then on there was only likely to be one winner, and wickets continued to fall consistently as spinners Anil Lohan (3 for 13) and Ashu Sharma (4 for 39) bowled exceptionally throughout the middle of the innings.
They were assisted by fast bowler Bhatti (2 for 30) as Highway were eventually bowled out for 122 off 35.5 overs.
The result means Warwick gain a maximum 24 points to kick start their promotion push in the best way possible.