Premier Division One Review 5th June

Written by: Nick Archer
Date: 05/06/2021

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In a tense finish at The Lant, Berkswell withstood a fierce challenge from bottom of the table West Bromwich Dartmouth to retain their position at the top of Premier Division One. After bowling the home side out for 210 in 52.4 overs, Dartmouth, who included England’s Moeen Ali in their side for the second week running, finished on 206 for nine from 57 overs after a fourth wicket partnership of 96 between Kadeer Ali (83) and Kabir Ali (41) had taken them into a match-winning position. The Berkswell fightback was spearheaded by Warwickshire’s Ryan Sidebottom (4 for 44) with support from Nick James (3 for 36). Moeen, again, failed to find any form with the bat, falling to Sidebottom for 4, but he did a little better with the ball, finishing with 2 for 51 from 17 overs. Devon’s left-arm spinner Fahad Sabir was the pick of the Dartmouth bowlers with 3 for 38, while Ateeq Javid (52), Tom Milnes (41) and Dan Mousley (35) were the chief run scorers for Berkswell. Kabir Ali finished with 3 for 57 but it was not enough to earn a victory for Dartmouth. If Berkswell had failed to hang on for a winning draw they would have relinquished pole position to Leamington who, also, earned a winning draw at Chester Road against Kidderminster. Leamington were making steady progress towards a modest total after Waqar Ahmed (43) and Jon Wigley (42) had batted, patiently, but it was the appearance of Oliver Currill that changed the pace of the game when he came to the wicket at 117 for four. He hit a quickfire 61 from 39 balls to see Leamington to 220 for eight at the end of 55 overs, with three wickets apiece for Liam Weston (3 for 48) and Chris Steele (3 for 51). In reply, Kidderminster struggled to 105 for seven before defiant contributions from Callum Bennett (58) and Charlie Stainforth (40 not out) saw them to 180 for eight at the close with Leamington skipper Wigley taking 4 for 34.   

Knowle & Dorridge piled up 315 for six, in 55 overs, against Moseley at Station Road but they may have regretted taking their full allocation of overs after Moseley hung on at 225 for nine. Warwickshire’s Ethan Brookes hit a sublime 115 for K & D after Alex Phillips had begun the day with 64. Ali Awan was the most successful bowler for Moseley with three wickets, but they came at a personal cost of 117 runs. At 204 for nine after 48.1 overs, K & D were hot favourites to win but Yadvinder Singh (32 not out) formed a last wicket partnership with Muhammad Raheem (4 not out) to keep the home side at bay. Abdullah Awan top scored for Moseley with 38 before Mohammed Umar Shaikh (3 for 26) and Neil Dexter (3 for 38) began to work their way through the Moseley card. Another side who might have declared earlier than they did was Barnt Green who pulled out after 54 overs with their score on 326 for five at Walsall. Amrinder Brar (79), Will Baker (64 not out), Ed Pollock (49) and Dom Harding (43) all batted freely against a Walsall attack unable to stem the flow of runs. Walsall were left with 56 overs to chase this daunting total and they were indebted to a fine unbeaten 107 from Billy-J Cox to hold off the visitors. Amit John hit 40 early in the innings but, apart from him and Cox, Jacob Ward (24 not out) was the only other batsman to reach double figures as Walsall finished on 204 for six. Barnt Green skipper Darrel Williams took 3 for 70 but Walsall hung on to avoid defeat, thanks, mainly to Cox.   

Smethwick’s climb up the table continued with a resounding six wicket win against Shrewsbury who were dismissed for 182. Sajid Ahmedzai (4 for 38) and Karamjot Singh (3 for 57) were the main wicket-takers for Smethwick while opening pair Dan Humes (37) and Peter Clark (34) put on 53 before Shrewsbury began to crumble. The loss of three early wickets for 41 to George Garrett (3 for54) didn’t faze Smethwick who romped to a comfortable win with runs from Gurinder Singh (60 not out), Aman Hussain (48 not out) and Ibbadat Thaman (40). Singh and Hussain took the game to Shrewsbury after the departure of Thaman with an unbroken stand of 97 for the fourth wicket which took Smethwick to joint third in the table with K & D. Chad Brandrick (76) and Robbie Clarke (48 not out) steered Shifnal to a more than respectable 247 for four from 55 overs against Ombersley who were all out for 170 in response. Nick Hammond was undefeated on 70 as Shaun Lorimer (5 for 43) and Alex Renton (3 for 45) combined to take Shifnal to a handsome 77 run success.