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Shrewsbury put to the sword

The return of the 50 overs win or lose format saw no change in the form of Premier Division leaders Shrewsbury but they were made to fight mightily hard for their tenth victory of the season by resurgent Walmley.

Batting first, Walmley scored 258 for nine in their innings of 50 overs which was interrupted for 40 minutes by rain, resulting in a reduction of 10 overs from the Shrewsbury innings.

Mo Sheikh (102 not out) and Andrew Hendry (89) put on 174 for the fourth Walmley wicket while seamer Joe Leach took 6-34 for Shrewsbury.

Faced with a revised target of 238 from 40 overs, Shrewsbury were cruising towards victory but two further interruptions left them with a new target of 190 from 32 overs to win.

The final interruption came after 27.2 overs with the total 143 for five which left them needing 47 off 4.4 overs for an unlikely victory.

Anthony Parker (37) hit the first three balls after the resumption for six then Stephen Barnard (14 not out) hit a six and a four from the last two balls to clinch a two wicket success which leaves them requiring 46 points from their last five games to lift the title.

Tom Cox held the middle order together with 54 from 62 balls. The only other game in this Division that required an adjustment to the winning target after an interruption during the first innings took place at Gorway, where Walsall totalled 247 for four against Himley.

Skipper David Powles hit 70 but it was an unbroken stand of 136 for the fifth wicket between Alex McChristie (88 not out) and Stephen Plant (47 not out) which stood out as Walsall completed a double over their visitors.

Himley’s reply was reduced to 43 overs with a revised target of 235 but this was rendered, almost, impossible by a fine opening burst from Tom Freeman (3-33) who took the first three wickets to fall as the Black Country outfit slumped to 29 for four.

Sergio Fedee (48) and Olly Westbury (41) staged a recovery but Josh Bowker (4-15) returned to the attack to take a hat-trick as Himley were

dismissed for 180.

Brockhampton remain Shrewsbury’s nearest challengers and they showed no mercy, at all, to West Bromwich Dartmouth, who they skittled for 80 in 22.2 overs.

Chris Boroughs took 6-32 before Henry Langford with 32 not out and Boroughs, himself, with an unbeaten 28 rushed Brockhampton to a nine wicket victory in 10.2 overs.

Walsall’s victory takes them up to third place, seven points ahead of Kidderminster Victoria and Knowle & Dorridge who suffered defeats at the hands of struggling Barnt Green and rock-bottom Wombourne.

Gareth Williams (3-32) reduced Barnt Green to 12 for three before Jack Williams (69) and Nathan Newport (54) staged a recovery which helped their side to 230 all out.

Kidderminster began just as badly and soon slumped to 47 for five. Zak Turley top scored with 25 but 3-17 from Tom Burton saw them off for 107.

There was no hint of the shock result to come after Dominic Hendricks (123 not out) and David Hemp (84) eased K & D to 272 for three against Wombourne but the visitors raced to a six wicket victory with five overs to spare, thanks to Mark Grant (92 not out), Steven Birch (67 not out) and Tom Brown (56).

Wolverhampton’s six wicket victory over Berkswell lifts them above the Warwickshire side who are only nine points ahead of Walmley in the battle to avoid relegation.

David Woollatt took 4-27 in Berkswell’s total of 141 before James Hammond (52 not out) and Adam Quiney (40 not out) put on an unbroken stand of 83 to steer Wolverhampton nearer to safety.

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