Shrewsbury's Winning Run Continues

Written by: Nick Archer
Date: 12/05/2018

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In the Premier Division, Shrewsbury’s winning run continued with a 148-run victory over Barnt Green, whilst there were first wins of the season for Ombersley and Walsall and successive victories for Knowle & Dorridge, Moseley and West Bromwich Dartmouth. The only side in the Division to record an away win was Walsall who defeated Dorridge by five wickets. A superb opening spell from seamer Billy Cox reduced Dorridge to 4 for three before Joe Dodd (69) and Aarib Khan (59) put on 134 for the fourth wicket to lift the home side’s hopes. However, Cox (4 for 17) returned to the attack to dismiss Dodd and the innings drifted to 191 all out after opening batsman Khan was dismissed at 164 for six. Luke Stynes (3 for 32) supported Cox well with the new ball and was rewarded with the wicket of Khan during a second spell. In reply, Walsall reached 82 for four before Bruce Thomason (50 not out) and Shoaib Akhtar (42) put on 88 for the fifth wicket, leaving Man of the Match Cox to strike an unbeaten 20 from eight balls to see Walsall to victory with two overs to spare. Meanwhile, table toppers Shrewsbury were piling up 270 for eight against Barnt Green boosted by a second wicket stand of 157 between Rob Foster (120) and Ed Foster (70). Skipper Andy Sutton took 4 for 55 for Barnt Green who slumped to 43 for six after Mike Barnard took his customary four wickets for just 18. Josh Poysden hit a belligerent 46 from 47 balls for Barnt Green who were all out for 122 in 37 overs. Zen Malik (70) was the only Wolverhampton batsman to come to terms with Ombersley’s Neil Slade (4 for 28) and Gareth Andrew (3 for 41) as the Danescourt side struggled to 161 for nine at the end of 50 overs. Australian international player Callum Ferguson then stroked 13 boundaries in his innings of 76 as he and Liam Gwynne (39) put together an opening partnership of 115 which laid the platform for an easy seven wicket win for Ombersley with more than 17 overs in hand. Despite the early loss of George Worker to a run out, Knowle & Dorridge reached 237 for seven against last year’s Division One Champions Smethwick. Alex Phillips propped up the innings with 75 before Smethwick made a decent effort when it was their turn to bat. Top scorer was Faisal Shahid with 52 while Oliver Haley took 3 for 39 for K & D who ran out winners by 19 runs. Moseley’s total of 160 all out owed much, if not all, to a fifth wicket stand of 98 between Warwickshire’s Alex Thomson (59) and Imandeep Kang (42). The early wickets were taken by Prerak Mankad (3 for 26) and the tail was trimmed by Daniel Mousley (3 for 36). The Wardens reply came up short on 125 after Moseley’s Usman Awan took 5 for 29 to secure a second success of the season for Moseley. At Sandwell Park, Berkswell found batting difficult as they limped to 130 for eight in 50 overs. Top scorer was Dominic Ostler with an unbeaten 26 while Kadeer Ali turned in figures of 3 for 26 from nine overs. A patient undefeated 66 from Warwickshire’s Andrew Umeed who shared a stand of 78 for the fourth wicket with Rawait Khan (35) set up a five-wicket win for Dartmouth with more than 15 overs to spare. 

Early season pace-setters in Division One, Shifnal, were halted in their tracks by Bromsgrove but the match at St.Godwald’s Park was marred by a serious injury to Shifnal’s Connor Dudley. The game was held up until an ambulance arrived and the delay resulted in the match being reduced to 40 overs per side. Opening batsman Ashley Newfield hit 60 for Bromsgrove who reached 185 for eight in 40 overs. Faced with a revised target of 192 to win, Shifnal, minus the injured Dudley were dismissed for 157 despite a fourth wicket stand of 95 between Ross Aucott (60) and Chris Murrall (40). After they departed, both to Jack Taylor (3 for 26), the innings fell away and the result was a 35-run victory to Bromsgrove under DLS. Shifnal, still, lead the table on 46 points but Himley, Kidderminster and Tamworth are in close attendance, one point behind after wins over Barnards Green, Halesowen and Bridgnorth. England Under 19 seamer Adam Finch (4 for 28) and the ageless Chris Boroughs (3 for 21) reduced Barnards Green to 16 for five and it took 26 from Oli Swift, the only batsman to reach double figures, to lift them to 85 all out, a target that Himley reached in 16.3 overs with nine wickets in hand. Neil Pinner hit a superb 123 in 104 balls for Kidderminster as the Chester Road outfit reached 245 for nine against Halesowen. Pinner hit 15 fours and 5 sixes and added 156 for the third wicket with Shameer Ahmed (50). Charlie Hartley picked up 3 for 45 for Halesowen who crashed to 104 all out in response. Barney Morgan (4 for 19) and Liam Weston (3 for 20) blew the rest of the order away after Connor Smith had taken two early wickets. Opening Batsman Liam Banks (48) and Josh Rudge (46) played contrasting innings as they set Tamworth on the way to 238 for seven against Bridgnorth. Banks faced 48 balls while Rudge batted more sedately, resisting for 116 balls to set up the Tamworth innings. Sam Whitney took 3 for 37 for Bridgnorth, who were, always, behind the run-rate in their response. For the second week running, Jason Jakeman was the most successful bowler for the Staffordshire club, finishing with 3 for 36 as Bridgnorth were all out for 156. Waqar Ahmed with 68 and Luke De Silva with 47 eased Leamington to a healthy 250 for seven against Brockhampton who were all out for 144. Dominic Badger took 3 for 48 for the Herefordshire side who relied on 48 from skipper Nick Powell to reach some respectability. Tom Warner finished with 3 for 58 for Leamington who earned their first victory of the season as they ran out winners by 106 runs. Oswestry were comfortable 90 run victors over fellow Shropshire outfit Wellington who slumped to their third defeat of the season. Warrick Fynn lead the way with 111 as Oswestry totaled 246 for seven in 50 overs. Glamorgan prospect Roman Walker, another England Under 19 representative at this year’s World Cup in New Zealand, took 4 for 23 as Wellington were dismissed for 156 to finish a distant second. Charlie Mackleworth top scored with 43 but he was unable to prevent another defeat for a club that is, already, looking at a tough season ahead. 

After Wombourne’s four wicket defeat to Penkridge, five clubs are locked together on 45 points at the top of the Division Two table. That win for Penkridge and victories for Harborne, Pershore and Sutton Coldfield took them level with Wombourne in what promises to be a titanic struggle for promotion at the end of the season. Wombourne skipper Dan Bassett (56) saw his side to a respectable 242 all out at Pillaton with Aatif Ali taking 3 for 51 for the home side, who were helped to victory by a third wicket stand of 70 between Attiq Chishti (87 not out) and Rana Hassan (48). Zachary Smith, with 3 for 60, was the most successful bowler for Wombourne. Pershore came out on top in a closely-fought affair with Attock who were dismissed, in 48.2 overs for 210. Arsalaan Mahmood hit 78 as he, with the help of Chris Miles (44) saw the Worcestershire side to their second win of the season. Zayn Hussain took 3 for 36 for the visitors. Half-centuries from Tom Arnold (71) and Srikant Mundhe (51), backed up by 47 from James Hunt and 43 from Andy Lloyd took Harborne to 280 all out against misfiring Fordhouses who fell away to 206 all out after Jem Stack was dismissed for 80. Chris Guest (3 for 41) and Kashif Hussein (3 for 42) did their best to stem the flow of runs from Harborne but Hunt, with 4 for 56, and Tom Payne, with 3 for 8, were far more effective with the ball during the Fordhouses innings. Pete Alexander (52 not out) and Ryan Blakemore (46) were the chief contributors to Astwood Bank’s total of 193 for seven against Sutton Coldfield at Rectory Park. Jack Smith took 4 for 41 for Sutton and saw his side to a resounding five wicket victory with a hard-hit 64 from 47 balls. Dinushka Nawarathnage supported him well with an unbeaten 61 in a stand of 111 for the fifth wicket after Sutton had slipped to 76 for four. Two seasons ago, Walmley and Streetly were three divisions apart but their match at Briar Avenue was a close one with Walmley the winners by a narrow margin of 13 runs. Walmley’s top four batsmen took them to 268 for three before a late flurry of wickets saw them close on 296 for seven from 50 overs. Runs flowed from Sarmad Bhatti (79), Andrew Hendry (62), James Brocklebank (57) and Daniel Bromley (43) but, arguably, the best performance came from Streetly’s Steve Hinton who picked up five wickets for 48. Imran Qadir lead a spirited reply from the home side with 81 but the experience of Bhatti (3 for 69) was decisive as he dismissed Streetly’s last man with seven balls remaining. C & R Hawks earned their first success of the season with a workmanlike performance against Coventry & N.W. The Binley Road side were dismissed for 138 after Johar Ahmed had taken 3 for 24. Omar Ali (48) and Lee Evans (45 not out) ensured that there were no further alarms for Hawks after Valeed Butt was out in the first over. The visitors’ win takes them into mid-table while Coventry slip to the foot of the table. 

Rugby’s impressive start in their first season in BDPCL continued with a 24-run win over Stratford-upon-Avon by the DLS method. An opening stand of 73 between Raj Chohan (33) and Asaad Qureshi (26) assisted by 19 wides from the Stratford bowlers laid a platform which Matt Ewer took advantage of, clubbing 58 from 42 balls to see Rugby to 241 for nine in 50 overs. James Urquhart took 3 for 46 for Stratford who were given a boost by Dexter Purser (44) at the start of their innings. He hit seven boundaries before he was out but an interruption for rain meant that the game would rely on DLS to achieve a result. Stratford’s final total of 148 for six saw them go down by 24 runs. The six wickets that fell were shared between Ewer, Vishaal Rathod and Owen Edwards. Old Elizabethans, Old Hill and Stourbridge sit at the top of the table on 45 points alongside Rugby after wins against Milford Hall, Newport and Redditch respectively. Milford’s Chris Becker hit 55 in his side’s total of 204 and it needed 52 from Tom Goodwin to put things right for OE’s after they slipped to 112 for six. After Goodwin was out, Daniel Colburn (44 not out) took over to see their side to victory by the narrowest of margins with one wicket in hand. Tom Webb took 3 for 55 for Milford. For Old Hill, Harry Baddams scored 54 and Naqaash Tahir chipped in with 42 as the Black Country side closed on 229 for eight at Newport. Nick Watkins took 3 for 40 for Newport who crashed to 111 all out after Zahid Kafiat took 6 for 50. Stourbridge made short work of Worcestershire neighbours Redditch, who they brushed aside for 149. Jujhar Johal (3 for 26) and Nathan Crudeli (3 for 57) did most of the damage for Stourbridge, while Rizwan Chaudhry top scored for Redditch with 31. A patient unbeaten 58 from 117 balls from veteran opening batsman Harshad Patel steered Stourbridge to an easy eight wicket victory. Simon Dimelow scored 101 as Whitchurch clattered 317 for nine against Lichfield. Sam Ellis added 58 with James Wilkinson taking 3 for 45 for the Staffordshire side. In reply, Lichfield were bowled out for 207, despite 73 from Jack Warren and 45 not out from Callum Heanan. Daniel Bowen took 3 for 30 and Ellis completed a fine all-round match with 3 for 34 for Whitchurch. A superb spell of 6 for 16 from Dan Wale saw Handsworth crumble to 88 all out against Pelsall who slid to 8 for three before Aussie Keith Moody (60 not out) and Todd Henderson (19 not out) saw them to a seven-wicket win. Moody hit nine fours and a six and only faced 38 balls as he blasted Pelsall to their first win since they returned to the League at the start of the season.