Premier Division One Review 11th September

Written by: Nick Archer
Date: 11/09/2021

< go back
After securing the Premier Division One title, last week, Berkswell headed into the last game of the season, against second in the table Leamington Spa, determined to maintain their unbeaten record and they did so, in style, thrashing their fellow Warwickshire side by eight wickets in a match that was more like a Twenty20 contest than a 50 overs per side game. After winning the toss, Berkswell took to the field with nine men, due to two late arrivals, but they were soon into their stride, picking up the first two wickets by the time that the total reached nine and before the two late entrants had time to put on their kit. Both the early wickets were taken by Tom Milnes who went on to finish with 5 for 49 as Leamington’s “see ball, hit ball” tactics were, largely, unsuccessful. Oliver Currill (33) and Chris Calcott (29) went hard in the middle of the innings, but Grant Thornton (4 for 36) and Milnes had the last word as Leamington were dismissed for 130 in the 27th over. The Berkswell reply began in a similar fashion as two wickets fell, quickly, but skipper Nick James and wicket-keeper Chris Whittock stood firm. James was, particularly, severe on Wigley and, also, took toll of the spinners, finishing unbeaten on 77 from 40 balls as Berkswell went past their target in 17.4 overs. He hit seven fours and six sixes and received able support from fellow Aldridge old boy Whittock who was unbeaten on 48. At the end of the match, Berkswell were presented with the Premier Division One trophy by League President Bill Smith, their fourth title in six years, having missed out to Knowle & Dorridge in 2017 and to Covid in 2020 when the League Competition was cancelled. At the start of the match, Leamington had much to play for, as a win would ensure the Runners-up trophy and a best ever finish of second in the table. A victory for third placed Knowle & Dorridge, at Barnt Green, would lift them above Leamington but any other result would see the Arlington Avenue side retain second place. Barnt Green warmed up for tomorrow afternoon’s Graham Williamson Trophy Final against Ombersley with a superb batting performance, reaching 308 for seven from 50 overs with outstanding contributions from Ben Chapman-Lilley (70), Arminder Brar (69) and Jacques Banton (59). Aristides Karvelas was the pick of the visiting bowlers with 3 for 62 but the K & D batters were unable to respond to the challenge, folding to 133 all out in the 30th over and slipping to fourth place behind Runners-up Leamington and third placed Kidderminster. Jack Grundy top scored with 49 and Karvelas blasted 34 from 15 balls but it was too little, too late, for K & D. Andrew Sutton finished with 5 for 54 for much-fancied Barnt Green who finish in fifth place after an inconsistent season. 

Kidderminster were, undoubtedly, one of the form teams during the second half of the season and finished well with a comprehensive seven wicket win against near neighbours Ombersley, who were skittled for 123 in 42 overs. David Brazier hit 51 for Ombersley and Charlie Stainforth took 3 for 27 for Kidderminster before an unbroken fourth wicket stand of 110 between skipper Neil Pinner (53 not out) and Vikai Dass (48 not out) steered them to an easy victory after they came together at 15 for three. The local derby match between Shifnal and Shrewsbury was won, emphatically, by the home side by 105 runs after they closed on 277 for six. The highlight of the innings was an unbeaten 143 from 128 balls from Xavi Clarke who hit 21 fours and a six. James Sookias (42) and Robbie Clarke (36) played their part, as well, after Luke Thornton (4 for 56) had, twice, struck early to reduce the home side to 27 for two. In reply, Shrewsbury lost wickets at regular intervals and were dismissed for 172 in the 39th over. Shaun Lorimer took 4 for 43 and Alex Riley took 3 for 44 as Shifnal lifted themselves into seventh place, one behind Shrewsbury who slipped below Barnt Green to a final place of sixth. Both Walsall and West Bromwich Dartmouth fell through the relegation trap door, last week, but Walsall ended the season on a bright note with a win at Smethwick, while Dartmouth were beaten by Moseley who, despite fighting relegation, themselves, for most of the season, finished in a respectable eighth place in the table. Vriitya Aravind (83) and Billy-J Cox (63) recorded half-centuries in Walsall’s 212 all out at Smethwick with Mian Haseeb Gul taking 5 for 23 and Rawait Khan picking up 3 for 43 for the home side who were all out for 193, in reply. Ibbadat Thaman hit 46 for Smethwick with Ravan Chahal taking 4 for 37 and James Rogers 3 for 25 for Walsall who finish in 11th place, one place behind Ombersley, and two places behind Smethwick who finish in ninth. Dartmouth’s disappointing season ended with their 13th defeat as they went down by 76 runs to Moseley who were all out for 232 in the 44th over with Andy Umeed hitting 91. Fahad Sabir took 3 for 44 for Dartmouth who, despite 46 from Shahzeb Raja, were all out for 156 with Ali Awan taking 4 for 27 for Moseley.