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Foster fuels Shrewsbury triumph

Shrewsbury's Ed Foster set a new club League record when he struck 169 to ramp up the highest team total in the Birmingham Premier League in 2013 at the expense of hapless Kidderminster Victoria.

Kiddi must have been confident of victory 27 overs into their clash at London Road, having restricted the table toppers to just 99 for two. But by the end of the innings, their hopes of a win were in shreds as the home side blitzed their way to 362 for seven in 55 overs with Foster leading the way.

His innings included eighteen fours and five sixes, with notable assistance from Worcestershire all-rounder Joe Leach (45) and skipper Rob Foster who blasted 67 from 37 balls.

Among the carnage, Chris Whelan picked up three wickets in 13 overs but they came at a cost of 93 runs. Earlier in the innings, Tom Cox (27) had helped Foster lay the foundations while at the end, Steve Barnard smashed an unbeaten 20 in 11 balls.

Foster’s individual club record beat the previous best of 159 by his father, former Shropshire skipper John. Shell-shocked from this remarkable Shrewsbury salvo, Kiddi folded to 140 all out with Andy Kimberlin top scoring with 57.

Elliott Green with 3-18 was the best of the Shrewsbury bowlers and they have opened up a gap of 39 points over Kiddi who remain in second place after nearest challengers Brockhampton and Knowle & Dorridge slid to home defeats to Berkswell and Himley.

Jack Cornick hit 37 in Berkswell’s total of 207 for eight with Brock’s off-spinner Adam Hewlett taking 3-45. Skipper Ben Stebbings hit 66 in the Herefordshire side’s reply but his efforts were to no avail as Tom Lewis took 3-18 to skittle the home side for 189.

Jack Bailey scored 45 for Brock who trail Kiddi by six points and remain in third place. Stuart Wedge (66), Greg Wright (51) and Nathan Round (39) helped Himley to 226 for seven at K & D with seamer Will Mottram taking 3-39 before Wedge took 3-19 to unravel the Warwickshire side for 110.

At the bottom of the table, Walmley earned a massively important one wicket win over 2012 Champions Walsall whose chances of retaining the title are fading fast.

Batting first after winning the toss, Walsall crumbled to 152 all out, despite 55 from Staffordshire’s Tim Maxfield and 33 from Paul Wicker. Former Walsall all-rounder Mo Sheikh did most of the damage with 4-24 and Paul Griffiths chipped in with 4-40.

A nervous Walmley lost early wickets but 31 from another former Walsall player Adam Breakspear and 21 from his brother Nick paved the way for Greg Ricketts (57) to take the game away from Walsall.

Ben McFarlane took 3-13 and Josh Bowker returned to form with 3-34 but Walsall need another couple of wins to maintain their place in the top half of the table as the sides below them show an improvement in form.

One of those sides is Wolverhampton who were far too strong for bottom of the table Wombourne who are, now, 36 points away from safety.

In the first game of the season, Wombourne pulled off a surprise win at Wolverhampton but this remains their only success and there was little chance of another shock when Wolverhampton arrived mob-handed with the Worcestershire trio of Tom Fell, Aneesh Kapil and Chris Russell in their side.

Moeen Ali was also expected to play but withdrew at the last minute. His absence meant little as Russell began a hostile spell when Wolverhampton skipper Karl Quiney asked his former club to bat after winning the toss.

After passing the edge of the bat on countless occasions Russell eventually took a wicket but not before left-arm seamer Adam Quiney had picked up the first five wickets for 33 in 12 overs.

Russell finished with 1-13 in 13 overs, while left-arm spinners Enamul Haque (2-13) and Andy Bowyer (2-20) finished Wombourne off for 104 despite a stand of 42 for the eighth wicket between Tom Meek (37) and David Hemming (12).

Wombourne never recovered after slipping to 19 for three and never looked like mustering a competitive total after Michael Hill was dismissed for 13. In reply, Fell (25) and Karl Quiney (17) eased their way to 42 before Fell was out to a lazy shot and Quiney was bowled by Dewi Jones with the total on 47.

This was to be Wombourne’s last hope as Kapil (41 not out) and James Hammond (21 not out) rushed Wolverhampton to an eight wicket win in 13.2 overs. Ed Denham (1-47) bowled valiantly for Wombourne and Jones took 1-34 but Wombourne look far too brittle to mount any kind of challenge to avoid relegation.

Barnt Green’s Nathan Newport missed out on a second century in a week when he was run out for 99 with two balls of his side’s innings remaining at Sandwell Park where West Bromwich Dartmouth hurried past Barnt Green’s total of 202 for four with six wickets standing and 13 overs in hand.

Newport and Tom Burton (52) put together 142 for the second Barnt Green wicket with Warwickshire’s Sam Hain adding 34 but the home side raced to a welcome win with Kadeer Ali (78 not out), Rawlston Tippin (47) and Zeeshan Asif (39) to the fore.

This result leaves Barnt Green hovering eight points above the relegation zone while Dartmouth join four other clubs who still need a couple of wins to avoid an anxious end to the season.


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