Graham Williamson Trophy Review 1st August

Written by: Nick Archer
Date: 01/08/2020

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Group 1 pacesetters Bridgnorth maintained their superb early season form with a three wicket victory at Shrewsbury and they sit, proudly, at the top of the table, four points clear of Shifnal and Wolverhampton who defeated Wem and Oswestry respectively. After winning the toss, Bridgnorth invited Shrewsbury to bat at London Road and the home side, promptly, slumped to 53 for five, then 72 for six before Warwickshire’s George Garrett hit 43 from 75 balls to see them to 133 all out at the end of the 40th over. Left-arm spinner Sam Baugh took 3 for 28 for Bridgnorth, who, also, made a poor start to their innings, slipping to 19 for four and on to 71 for seven before an unbroken eighth wicket stand of 63 between Ben Lees (57 not out) and Baugh (26 not out) secured the win for the visitors. At Wem, the home side chose to bat first against Shifnal who restricted them to 172 all out in 39.4 overs. The highlight of the Wem innings was a fourth wicket stand of 85 between Martyn Davies (41) and Matthew Cohen (34) with Jack Edwards (3 for 48) the most successful bowler for Shifnal. In reply, led by 75 from Steven Leach, the visitors cruised to a six wicket success with 15 balls remaining. At Danescourt, Wolverhampton crushed Oswestry by 180 runs after winning the toss and electing to bat. At first, Oswestry bowled well, reducing the home side to 50 for three before Will Nield (103 not out) and Charlie Home (74) took Wolverhampton to 244 before the fall of the fourth wicket. Their final total of 251 for five from 40 overs proved to be far too many for Oswestry, who crumbled to 71 all out in 21.4 overs. The bulk of the damage was inflicted by Worcestershire’s former England Under 19 seamer Adam Finch, who, in his first League outing of the season, took 6 for 29. Next week’s games include Shifnal’s visit to Bridgnorth, where a victory for the away side would see them join their hosts at the top of the table and a mouth-watering clash between two heavyweight clubs, Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury. 

Matches between Walsall and West Bromwich Dartmouth date back more than 130 years. They are usually close-fought affairs and this one was no exception. Both sides had begun the season well in Group 2 with two victories from two games and it was a strong Dartmouth team that took the field at Gorway, with Worcestershire 2nd XI coach Kadeer Ali and England white-ball international Patrick Brown in their side for the first time this season. Brown struck in his first over, dismissing the in-form Amit John after Dartmouth had chosen to field. Walsall lost their second wicket at 39 before a third wicket stand of 93 between skipper Danny Cox (63) and keeper James Middleton (40) saw them to a promising position of 133 for two. Both batsmen were then dismissed in quick succession by another former England player Kabir Ali (3 for 30) and Walsall subsided, disappointingly, to 186 all out in 37.1 overs with Manraj Johal (3 for 43) cleaning up the tail. After helping Dartmouth on their way with a barrage of 16 wides and two no balls in the early overs, the Walsall attack, then strangled the life out of the visitors’ innings after the introduction of Billy Cox and Rafay Ahmed. Luke Stynes, then, took over, finishing with 4 for 29 as Dartmouth folded to 142 all out with 19 balls remaining. Tom Brown finished unbeaten on 36 but he could not find anyone to stay long enough with him to threaten the home side who were worthy winners by 44 runs. As Walsall forged ahead with three wins from three games, Smethwick, who play Dartmouth next week, join the Sandwell Park outfit on two wins following a 13 run success at Harborne. Smethwick’s total of 233 for eight in 40 overs included 68 from Omar Masood, 43 from Sunny Singh, 32 not out from Aman Hussain and 30 from Rawait Khan. Tom Payne took 3 for 44 for Harborne who, in response, were all out for 220 from the last ball of the 40th over. Harborne’s innings included 51 from Jasper Davidson, 50 from Tejas Wagle and 47 from Tom Arnold but they remain winless after Singh (3 for 30) and Naseer Ahmed (3 for 42) combined to secure a valuable win for Smethwick. Meanwhile, at Stourbridge Road, Himley ambled to their first win of the season, with a seven wicket success over Pelsall. Despite a promising start, which included 39 from Navi Poonia and 33 from Todd Henderson, Pelsall fell away to 156 all out in 37.1 overs with Ben Robinson picking up 3 for 19 and Jamie Lunn taking 3 for 35 for Himley. An opening stand of 62 between Worcestershire’s Oli Westbury (68 not out) and Bilal Hussein (36) provided an ideal platform for Himley to chalk up their first success. 

In Group 3, Berkswell lead the way with three wins from three games but their 73 run victory against Kenilworth Wardens owed much to a last wicket stand of 43 between Grant Thornton and Liam Gately which saw them from 165 for nine to 208 all out from the last ball of the 40th over. During that stand, which was dominated by Thornton (84), Gately faced seven balls and added a single. Mohammed Ahmed (43) also helped Thornton in a stand of 72 for the sixth wicket after Tommy Rex (3 for 25) had taken the prize wickets of Dan Mousley and Tom Lewis. Wardens didn’t shine as well with the bat! After Nick Seager (40 from 30 balls) was dismissed by Thornton, they slumped from 55 for three to 135 all out with Joshua Aspinall taking the first three wickets for 34 and Ateeq Javid the last four wickets for 12. Winless Knowle & Dorridge entertained 100 per centers Moseley at Station Road but it was the home side that took the honours with a comfortable 38 run victory. At 152 for six, K & D’s position was precarious but a blistering unbeaten stand of 117 for the seventh wicket between Oliver Haley (79 not out from 56 balls) and Gareth Davies (61 not out from 46 balls) changed the shape of the game as the home side raced on to 269 for six. Sam Reddish hit 41 earlier in the innings to lay the platform for Haley and Davies. Moseley included Warwickshire’s Adam Hose (29) in their line-up for the first time but it was former Bears batsman Andrew Umeed (106) and keeper Ben Griffin (51) who took them to 105 for one to set up Moseley’s run-chase. After Hose’s dismissal at 157 for three, K & D picked up wickets at regular intervals with former Middlesex and Leicestershire all-rounder Neil Dexter taking 3 for 48 as Moseley closed on 231 for seven from 40 overs. Leamington’s first win of the season came at the expense of Dorridge who collapsed to 105 all out in 34 overs after electing to bat first. David Ball top scored with 38 with Nick Couzens taking 3 for 23 for Leamington, who cantered to an eight wicket win after an opening stand of 89 between Luke De Souza (55 not out) and Oxfordshire’s Harrison Smith (38). In Group 4, 

Halesowen are the only side with a 100% record following a 24 run win at Barnt Green who closed on 195 for nine in response to Halesowen’s total of 219 for nine. Although Jamie Harrison (40) and Ryan Lockley (36) batted well for Halesowen after they had slipped to 2 for two, it was not until former Kent seamer Charlie Hartley came to the wicket at 166 for eight that they looked like reaching anything near a competitive total. He smashed an unbeaten 45 from 21 balls to take the visitors to 219 for nine at the end of 40 overs but Barnt Green, always, seemed in control, despite the early loss of Warwickshire’s Ed Pollock to Eddie Rhodes (3 for 31). After Ben Chapman-Lilley (31) fell at 79, the home side lost wickets on a regular basis and finished on 195 for nine despite 48 from Will Baker. Unbeaten Barnards Green were the visitors at Chester Road, where home side Kidderminster were invited to bat first and struggled to 167 for nine in 40 overs. Top scorer was Shameer Ahmed with 39 after Phil Harris had reduced them to 58 for three with three early wickets for 27. Opening batsman Oliver Rogoff anchored the Barnards Green innings with 66 from 109 balls but apart from Zain ul Hassan with 36, he received very little support. Rogoff was eighth out at 155 and this signalled the end for Barnards Green who lost their last four wickets for one run with just 14 required for victory. Although the last wicket was taken by Charlie Stainforth, it was Chris Steele, with 4 for 20, who inspired the collapse with the four previous wickets. Ombersley earned a welcome victory with a five wicket success over Bromsgrove who reached 224 for four in 40 overs, thanks to 84 from Jayden Levitt and 76 from Alex Milton, who added 134 for the third wicket. Half-centuries from Liam Gwynne (62), Josh Dell (53) and Nick Hammond (50 not out) then saw Ombersley home with two balls to spare, leaving Bromsgrove winless at the foot of the table.