Jonker smashes ton at two a ball
Sides batting second enjoyed the rub of the green when the Birmingham Premier Division programme resumed this week following the wash out of previous weeks.
Apart from Himley’s 40 run success against Brockhampton, the spoils went to the teams who opted or were forced to bat second as batsmen struggled against the seaming ball on slow, damp pitches.
None of the sides reached 200 which made Walsall’s nine wicket demolition of Knowle & Dorridge the performance of the day.
Atiq Chishti (70) steered K & D to 175 all out in exactly 55 overs with his Staffordshire team-mate Paul Byrne taking 4-46 for Walsall.
Spinning partner David Powles finished with 3-46 before an explosive onslaught by Christiaan Jonker rocketed Walsall to victory in 18 overs. Jonker smashed 108 not out from 54 balls, an innings that included nine sixes and nine fours as he, took the home attack apart.
After Paul Wicker was dismissed for 11, Jonker was joined by Jack Manuel (47 not out) and two of the League’s most dynamic batsmen ensured that Walsall maintained their six point lead at the top of the table.
Meanwhile, at Sandwell Park, second placed Berkswell defeated West Bromwich Dartmouth by five wickets after they dismissed their hosts for 105. Staffordshire opening pair James Campbell and Kadeer Ali put on 20 for the first wicket before Ali was dismissed by an astonishing one-handed catch by Dominic Ostler at slip.
Soon afterwards, Campbell (20) was bowled by Warwickshire’s Tom Milnes and Dartmouth slipped to 53 for six before a partnership of 28 between Mark Fisher (10) and Junaed Zaman (37) revived hopes of a competitive total.
The partnership was ended by a run out and Dartmouth soon folded to 105 all out with Zimbabwean Test bowler Ed Rainsford finishing with 3-23 and Milnes picking up 3-34.
Chris Cheslin (2-18) and Dave Brignull (1-10) provided great back-up as Berkswell confirmed their growing reputation as one of the best bowling sides in the Division.
In reply, the Warwickshire outfit struggled against the new ball and, at 13 for two from 12 overs, Dartmouth were back in the game before James Neale (33) and Ostler (21) came together at 37 for three to take the score to 81 without further loss.
Both batsmen were dismissed on that total but a brisk unbeaten 24 form Milnes eased Berkswell to what eventually turned into a comfortable victory.
Himley’s Overseas Player Rajat Bhatia hit 80 on his debut for the Club but Herefordshire’s Callum Stewart took 4-39 as Brockhampton restricted the home side to 180 all out.
Both Chris Boroughs (46) and Joe Crichard (42) batted well for the visitors but Stuart Wedge’s 4-33 proved decisive in a 40 run win for Himley, a result that takes them up to third place.
David Bailey scored 40 for Leamington but Wolverhampton’s Chris Russell ran through the rest of the side as they slumped to 143 all out. The Worcestershire paceman took 6-26 but Leamington battled all the way before 34 from Vishal Tripathi and an undefeated 39 from James Hammond sealed a two wicket win for Wolverhampton.
Bottom of the table Wellington were defeated by seven wickets by Kidderminster Victoria after they were dismissed for 130 at Orleton Park. Wendell Wagner stood defiant for Wellington with 72 while Richard Kimberlin took 3-11 for Kiddi.
Wagner took 2-25 with the ball but an unbeaten 70 from Worcestershire’s Ben Cox eased the away side into the top half of the table.
2011 Champions Barnt Green were defeated by seven wickets by Shrewsbury, the Club they are aiming to succeed as National Club Champions. Batting first, after winning the toss, Barnt Green were held together by James Ord who compiled an unbeaten 114 from a total of 187 for seven.
New signing Tom Burton hit 27, while Shropshire’s Michael Barnard (3-40) and Alex Blofield (3-53) were the pick of the Shrewsbury bowlers.
Ord’s innings included 11 fours and two sixes but his efforts were not enough as Shrewsbury breezed to a much needed victory, thanks to 77 from Blofield, 43 from his County skipper Ed Foster and a mature unbeaten 41 from 16 year-old Ed Barnard.