Premier Division Two Review 5th June

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

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Spectators leaving the match between Wem and Kenilworth Wardens half-way through the second innings will have been taken aback by the eventual outcome which resulted in a three wicket win for Wardens. With Wardens struggling to make headway against a mean Wem attack, the least likely result was a Wardens victory, but Ali Zaryab Asif (66) and Andrew Leering (46 not out) picked up the pace before a robust 30 not out from 18 balls by Josh Baker saw Wardens over the line with three overs remaining. Until Mohit Kale (59) was run out after a misunderstanding with his partner, Wem were going well, but the return of Tommy Rex (3 for 42) put the brakes on before Tom Mordey chipped in with 3 for 31 to restrict the home side to 209 all out in 54.2 overs, a more modest total than appeared likely while Kale was at the crease. The first 20 overs of the Wardens innings was tortuous but Asif, Leering and Baker showed a positive attitude to clinch the win for Wardens which takes them up to second place in the table, a point behind leaders Halesowen who demolished Dorridge by 187 runs. Alexei Kervezee (73) and Harry Baddams (72) added 109 for the fourth Halesowen wicket before Worcestershire’s Charlie Morris finished off with a bustling 37 from 31 balls to see Halesowen to 242 for nine at the close. Jack Mills took 4 for 60 for Dorridge but the Warwickshire club’s batters had no answer to James Rudge or Morris as they crashed to 55 all out in 30.5 overs. Herefordshire seamer Rudge picked up 4 for 15 and Morris took 3 for 14 as Halesowen lifted themselves to the top of Premier Division Two.   

After a faltering start to the season, Himley have joined the front-runners and they are in fourth place, six points behind Wem in third place. For the second week running, Himley’s Ollie Westbury scored a round 100, the only difference this week was that he was dismissed. Bilal Hussain (41) and Callum Lea (40) also weighed in with useful runs as Himley reached 278 for six from 55 overs with Shropshire’s red-ball captain Sam Whitney taking 4 for 69 for Bridgnorth. In reply, the home side were all out for 229 from 54.4 overs, just two balls away from saving the game. David Exall (59), Tom Weston (41) and Ben Lees (39) threatened to deny Himley, but Jamie Turner took 5 for 43 to set up an enthralling finish which was completed by South African Saul Anstey who took the final wicket to hand Himley a 49 run win. Connor Smith hit 122 from 148 balls for Bromsgrove but he ended upon on the losing side after Barnards Green skipper Ryan Tongue blasted an unbeaten 156 from 129 balls. Ashley Newfield and Deon Patel both scored 42 in partnership with Smith as Bromsgrove closed on 259 for nine from 55 overs. Leicestershire’s George Rhodes finished with the remarkable figures of 5 for 24 from four overs for Barnards Green as Bromsgrove imploded towards the end of their innings. Although Tongue was the main reason for Barnards Green’s success, he couldn’t have done it without an accomplished 58 from Rehaan Edavalath who helped him to add 142 for the fourth wicket.   

At 22 for three, Wolverhampton were wobbling against Oswestry, before a fourth wicket stand of 193 between Will Nield (114) and Charlie Home (90) helped them to recover to 268 for eight. Jack Stanley (23 not out) was the only other batsman to reach double figures as Ben Roberts (3 for 58) and Alex Selby (3 for 65) took three wickets each for Oswestry. Home, then, surpassed his own effort with the bat as he finished with 7 for 33 to bowl Wolverhampton to a 136 run victory. Ryan Lockley hit 58 for Oswestry but with no support from the other end, the result became a formality with Oswestry dismissed for 132. Harborne earned their first win of the season with a two wicket win against bottom of the table Pelsall, who, despite a couple of near misses, are, still, seeking their opening victory. At 65 for six, it was a familiar tale for Pelsall before Andrew Bentley (40) provided his customary rescue act. He found a willing ally in Sadrian Ward, who smashed 71 from 34 balls, and the pair added 105 for the seventh wicket before Pelsall lost three more quick wickets to finish on 183 all out in 46.1 overs. Mike Bevan took 4 for 26 and Jasper Davidson took 3 for 34 for Harborne who were, themselves, in trouble on 79 for five. The late middle order responded well and saw Harborne home despite 4 for 66 from Ward and 3 for 36 from Tom Boyd.