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Himley squeeze victory and lead

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Wellington and Himley faced each other at Orleton Park and it was Himley who squeezed to a narrow two wicket victory which took them to the top of the Birmingham and District Cricket League table.

After losing the toss, Wellington were restricted to 149 for nine with skipper Wendell Wagner top scoring with 65 not out.

Ashfak Hussein, signed from Old Hill during the close season, finished with 5-32 for Himley, who would have lost the match if they’d lost a ninth wicket because opening bowler Danny Smith, injured his back in the first over of the game and was unable to bat.

Himley’s Greg Wright hit 61 to thwart David Lloyd, who picked up 5-57 for Wellington.

Following last week’s faltering start to the League programme, when only, six matches took place prospects again looked bleak after another week of heavy rain but magnificent efforts by groundsmen and helpers around the League, ensured that 17 games were completed in the second week.

Newly promoted Berkswell began the season with a 17 run success in a low-scoring match at Kidderminster Victoria.

Tom Milnes hit 30 to steer the visitors to 112 all out with Richard Kimberlin (3-28), Gareth Williams (2-20) and Connor Smith (2-6) amongst the wickets for Kiddi.

In reply, Babar Khan (5-26) and Milnes (3-29) put the home side away for 95.

Champions Barnt Green were also involved in a low-scoring affair at Walsall and it was the home side who came out on top by two wickets after an enthralling game of cricket.

Barnt Green stumbled to 11 for three and still appeared to be struggling on 75 for seven before an eighth wicket partnership of 56 between Keiron Rees (47) and Andrew Sutton (23) helped them to 140 for nine at the end of 55 overs.

Tom Freeman produced the outstanding figures of 5-49 for Walsall, who appeared to be cruising to victory when they reached 69 for one in the 10th over.

At that point, Worcestershire’s Jack Manuel was on 49, an innings that included six sixes and two fours, but his dismissal began a middle order collapse.

At 93 for five, Barnt Green were slight favourites but a mature partnership of 35 between teenagers James Middleton (20) and Alex McChristie (25 not out) took Walsall to the verge of an unexpected victory.

However, Barnt Green, in the form of Stephen Bevan (2-33) and Richard Wilkinson (2-39) bounced back to reduce Walsall to 129 for eight before McChristie and Ben MacFarlane showed plenty of composure to guide Walsall to a 20 point success.

In a match reduced to 46 overs per side, due to a delayed start, Wolverhampton defeated Knowle & Dorridge by four wickets.

Atiq Chishti (64) top scored as K & D reached 153 all out, in the fortieth over, with three wickets apiece for Chris Russell, Johannes Bothma and James Fell.

A splendid 75 from Aaron Jeavons was the foundation for Wolverhampton’s victory with Steve Wheeler (3-44) the best of the bowlers for K & D.

The Brockhampton versus West Bromwich Dartmouth match was abandoned on Friday night when a local umpire declared that the pitch and outfield were unfit, a decision that means that both sides are yet to bowl a ball, and the match between Leamington Spa and Shrewsbury was called off at 9am, on Saturday morning, after an early inspection by both Captains.