Wiliamson Trophy Review Round One

Written by: Nick Archer
Date: 13/04/2019

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After last season’s non-event, when the whole competition was abandoned because of the dismal early season weather, the Williamson Trophy competition returned to the playing schedule with all of the eight Round One ties completed without interruption. Although the early start to the competition is, usually, an unreliable guide to form, two results stand out. Berskswell, the 2018 Premier Division title winners were, handsomely, defeated by fellow Warwickshire side Dorridge, by eight wickets, while the Premier Division runners-up last season, Knowle & Dorridge, recorded a thumping 10 wicket victory against West Bromwich Dartmouth.

Berkswell, who were runners-up on the last occasion the competition was played, in 2017, racked up 265 for four, in 40 overs, with Richard Jones cracking an unbeaten 77 from 45 balls. Nick James finished undefeated on 59 as the former first-class pair added an unbroken 133 for the fifth wicket. Mohammed Ahmed (46) and Chris Whittock (30), also, made useful contributions but, after losing their first wicket without a run on the board, a stand of 169 for the second wicket between Aarib Khan (112 not out) and Edward Thompson (101) eased Dorridge to a comfortable victory with more than four overs to spare. Khan faced 105 balls, with 12 fours and 3 sixes, but the most explosive effort came from Thompson who hit 12 fours and 4 sixes from 78 balls. Ashleigh Lynch (38 not out) joined Khan after Thompson’s dismissal and they added an unbroken stand of 100 to see Dorridge to a Round Two home tie against Warwickshire Academy who beat Kidderminster by 77 runs at Chester Road. Moseley’s Rob Yates (98) and Berkswell’s Dan Mousley (89) were the stand-out performers in an Academy total of 314 for seven with Neil Pinner (84) the top scorer in Kidderminster’s total of 237 for seven.

Former Stratford-upon-Avon skipper Mike Brown took 4 for 34 as West Bromwich Dartmouth were hustled out for 160, in 32.4 overs, by Knowle & Dorridge, who cantered to their target without loss in 22 overs. Will Rigg scored an unbeaten 82 (10 fours and 3 sixes) from 63 balls and Alex Phillips finished with 59 not out from 69 balls. Knowle & Dorridge will travel to Barnt Green in Round Two after the Worcestershire outfit defeated Premier Division Two side Wolverhampton by 39 runs. Dominic Harding, making his first competitive appearance for Barnt Green, after joining them from Knowle & Dorridge during the close season, will relish the tie after he struck 15 fours and a six in an 86-ball innings of 102. Andrew Sutton chipped in with 40 in a total of 241 for nine, in 40 overs, with three wickets apiece for Amritpal Singh (3 for 31) and Aaron Patel (3 for 33). Jack Stanley (51) top scored for Wolverhampton with Singh (45) and Patel (43 not out) also starting the season, impressively, as Wolverhampton closed on 202 for nine.

Kenilworth Wardens defeated Moseley after they restricted the home side to 177 for nine, cruising to a five-wicket success with two overs in hand. Skipper Alex Thomson hit 39 for Moseley with his Wardens counterpart Mark Pidgeon taking 3 for 22 before Mohammed Haroon hit 66 to take Wardens to victory, despite 3 for 28 from Brinder Phagura. Fine bowling from Paul Byrne (3 for 16) and Jordan Bulpitt (3 for 20) saw Walsall dismiss the Trophy holders Ombersley for 139, in 35.1 overs, before a determined unbeaten 46 from skipper Danny Cox eased Walsall to a convincing seven wicket win in 34.2 overs.

Shropshire captain Steve Leach struck seven boundaries in a composed innings of 77 against Smethwick which steered the Premier Division One newcomers to 238 for eight after 40 overs. Omar Masood (3 for 31) and Sunny Singh (3 for 35) were the pick of the bowlers for Smethwick, who responded with 200 for nine in 36.3 overs with Rawait Khan unable to bat. Amrinder Brar (72 not out) and Abbas Shah (46) were the main run-getters with Chad Brandrick (3 for 27) and Jack Twigger (3 for 45) amongst the wickets for Shifnal, who will travel to Kenilworth Wardens in the next round.

The match between Shrewsbury and the Worcestershire Academy ended in a tie with both sides closing their innings on 166 for nine after 40 overs. This led to a bowl-out which was won by the Academy side by three strikes to two and they will visit Walsall in Round Two. Himley’s Oliver Westbury hit 59 for the Academy while Shrewsbury’s Tyler Ibbotson (4 for 39) returned the best figures of the day in the competition. In reply, a sixth wicket stand of 39 between Llyr Thomas (43) and Ibbotson (35 not out) put Shrewsbury in a strong position before the game came to an exciting climax. Barnt Green all-rounder Jacques Banton took 3 for 26 including the vital wicket of Thomas to keep the Academy in the game.