Himley and Shrewsbury grab winning draws

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Following a week of almost incessant rain, early morning expectations of cricket on the opening day of the 2012 Birmingham & District Premier Cricket League programme were slim.

But two games were completed in the Premier Division, where Himley and Shrewsbury stole a march on their rivals with winning draws against Leamington Spa and Wellington.

In a 94 over match, Himley raced to 243 for two declared in the 46th over, thanks to an opening partnership of 150 between Chris Tranter (69) and Greg Wright (64).

Skipper Stuart Wedge (44 not out) and new signing from Old Hill, Nathan Round (38 not out) carried on the good work, enabling Wedge to declare, to present his side with two additional overs to bowl at the visitors.

Despite the absence of last year’s leading Premier Division run scorer Alex Phillips, who suffered a blow when he pulled a hamstring in the field and was unable to bat, Leamington responded bravely, finishing on 215 for eight at the end of the 48th over.

Former Banbury and Evesham all-rounder Luke Radford hit 65 but the individual performance of the day came from Himley’s left arm paceman, Danny Smith, who finished with 6-65.

The Shropshire derby between Shrewsbury and Wellington was reduced to the minimum 25 overs per side and the home team piled up 170 for five, thanks to Joe Leach, who hit four sixes and a four in a 41 ball half-century, and Rob Foster, who smashed 41 from 19 balls, including three sixes and three fours. In reply, Wellington meandered to 76 for five with Ross Aucott hitting 29 and Ed Barnard taking 2-4.