May 11th round-up

Author: Paul Smith
Date: 11/05/2024

May 11th round-up

Author: Paul Smith
Date: 11/05/2024

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Division One

Warwickshire’s Chris Benjamin made a massive impact on the Birmingham Premier League by smashing 165 to set up his new club Smethwick’s 151-run win at Barnards Green.

Benjamin struck 17 fours and seven sixes in his whirlwind 120-ball knock adding 136 with Bilal Shafayat (40) then 103 with Deepak Khatri.

Following Benjamin's dismissal the visitors’ recently-arrived Indian pro went on to dominate the later stages of the innings while making 104 from just 62 balls as they closed on a colossal 405 for eight.

Facing a mountainous task all of the hosts’ top six then got a start but scoreboard pressure told and none went beyond Kiwi opener Jakob Bhula’s 35 as Barnards were bowled out in the 46th over for 254.

Former Worcestershire star Alexei Kervezee’s excellent unbeaten 85 steered Halesowen to a four wicket home win over Wolverhampton.

With Will Jones grabbing 5-41, the visitors looked in control as Wes Griffiths’ team struggled to 139 for six in pursuit of their 249 for eight.

However, Kervezee and James Rudge (57no) then took the game away from them in a fine unbroken seventh-wicket alliance worth 112.

Current Pears staffer Rehaan Edavalath’s 128-ball 98 had earlier provided the backbone of Wolves’ batting effort.

The third unbeaten side after two rounds of action are last season’s runners-up Knowle & Dorridge whose latest success took the form of a 56-run win at Ombersley.

Opener Jamie Harrison’s 63 led the way for K&D who closed on 226 for six. The Warwickshire club’s seam attack then did the rest despite a defiant half-century from wicket-keeper Luke Powell which enabled Ombersley’s response to recover from 85 for five to 170 all out.

Moseley have made a slow start to the defence of their title with their opening day defeat at Smethwick being followed by a nine wicket home defeat at the hands of Himley.

The Black Country outfit’s skipper Ollie Westbury was the star of the show, finishing with an unbeaten 127-ball 71 as his team cruised to their 157-run target in just 39.4 overs.

The home side were earlier reduced to 88 for seven by an attack in which Hasitha De Silva stood out with 3-26 before Mohammed Talukder’s 50 oversaw a late Moseley rally.

Worcestershire’s Ed Pollock took full advantage of some short Glasshouse Park boundaries to lash 13 sixes as Barnt Green claimed a three wicket win over Kenilworth Wardens.

Pollock raced to 126 from just 51 balls while adding 164 with opening partner Ben Chapman-Lilley (34). But after both fell in quick succession Barnt Green slumped to 212 for seven before Lloyd Pope’s unbeaten 34 steered them past their 256-run target.

Wardens Pakistani pro Ali Zaryab had earlier made a fluent 101 while Harry Johnson cleared the rope six times on his way to a rapid-fire 69. Veteran seamer Andy Sutton claimed 4-43 for the visitors.

Berkswell’s winter recruit from Northamptonshire Amrit Basra played a starring role in his new club’s six wicket win at West Bromwich Dartmouth.

Basra first grabbed a couple of wickets in support of paceman Josh Aspinall (3-28) as Dartmouth failed to develop Ismail Mohammed’s 47 into a big total.

Then after tea the all-rounder then lashed a 43-ball 75 to take the visitors most of the way to their 215-run victory target before Tom Mousley (33no) stepped in to calm some late nerves.

Division Two

Harborne and Shrewsbury lead the way with the second division’s only 100 per cent records following two rounds of action.

The ever-consistent Swapnil Gugale’s 87 led the way at Church Road and with his top-order colleagues Ben Shepperson (62) and Warwickshire’s Kai Smith (79) also finding the middle of the bat the home side set Shifnal a testing 303.

The Telford-based visitors also enjoyed a typically flat Damon Willetts track as all of their top six got a start but none were able to pass 50 and with home skipper Tom Arnold nipping in with four late wickets Shifnal were dismissed for 200 to finish on the wrong side of a 103-run verdict.

When Shrewsbury were 26 for three hosts Bridgnorth seemed in charge of their Shropshire derby only for visiting skipper Lewis Evans to turn the contest on its head with a superb 85.

Keeper Matt Swift then added an unbeaten 52-ball 59 in the closing stages as Shrewsbury posted a challenging 296 all out.

Only Rahul Kaushal (40) and Jaspreet Singh (50) passed ten for Bridgnorth who were bowled out in 37 overs for 169 while Evans ended a red-letter day by bagging a couple of useful wickets.

Like Shifnal and Bridgnorth, both Wellington and Coventry & North Warwickshire must wait at least another seven days for their first win of the season.

In a clash dripping with 1980s nostalgia Old Hill left Binley Road with a 25-run success which owed much to a fine spell of bowling from Ryan Derrick who grabbed 6-45.

Although Akshay Patel top-scored with a 30-ball 42 this meant CNW were bowled out in the 42nd over for 189 in response to the visitors’ 214 for nine.

Earlier, Harris Ajaz took 4-30 for Coventry who reduced the Haden Hill-based visitors to 99 for six before Jahanzib Khan’s unbeaten 57 managed the tail to good effect.

Wellington, who were bowled out for 140 in 41.4 overs, slipped to a 105-run defeat at the hands of visiting Dorridge for whom Imaad Mahmood made a match-defining 79 from 81 balls.

Useful support contributions saw the Solihull-based outfit post 245, a total which the newly-promoted hosts never seriously threatened against an accurate attack in which six bowlers claimed wickets.

The return of Derbyshire and ex-Pears paceman Pat Brown to Kidderminster colours was an eye-catching development ahead of Leamington’s visit to Chester Road but instead it was his captain Liam Weston who grabbed the headlines with the performance of the day.

After Spa opted to take first use, Weston destroyed their batting line-up in two devastating spells which returned 7-11 from eight impeccable overs.

As a result the visitors were bundled out for 55 in the 23rd over and 14 overs later were on their way back across the M42 following a seven wicket defeat.

Worfield’s Ben Parker who took 6-28 at Tamworth went close to emulating Weston’s heroics but despite this fine display finished on the wrong end of a 114-run defeat.

Callum Render made 70 for the hosts who closed on 226 all out from 48.3 overs before his teammates Ed Smith and Suraj Chauhan shared seven wickets as Worfield were seen off in the 31st over for 112.





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