Kidderminster ravaged by Walsall
Premier Division Leaders Walsall celebrated their annual President’s Day on the field as well as off, as they brushed aside the challenge of Kidderminster Victoria before most of the guests had time to settle in their seats.
Missing their three County contracted players Ben Cox, Matt Pardoe and Neil Pinner, the Worcestershire club were blown away for 46 by Walsall’s seam attack of Tom Freeman (4-14), Josh Bowker (3-25) and Javaid Ram (2-6).
They never recovered from losing their first two wickets in Freeman’s and the game’s opening over without scoring and Jonathan Wright (12) and Connor Smith (10) were the only batsmen to reach double figures.
Walsall too were missing their contracted player Jack Manuel, playing for Worcestershire 2nd XI with Cox, Pardoe and Pinner but his absence mattered little as Christiaan Jonker (31 not out) and Paul Wicker (10) took the score to 42 before Wicker was caught behind off Smith.
As well as maintaining their lead at the top of the table Walsall’s nine wicket victory gave them ample revenge for their Kingfisher Cup defeat at Chester Road two weeks ago but their delight was tempered by Berkswell’s narrow win at Leamington, which earned them 24 points to leave the Warwickshire side two points behind the leaders.
Dominic Ostler hit 51 in Berkswell’s 143 all out before Leamington were dismissed for 137. Faisal Khalid (3-39), Raiza Jabarkheil (3-43), the returning Tom Lewis (2-31) and Warwickshire’s Paul Best (2-25) shared the wickets for Leamington but Babar Khan (4-27) and Chris Cheslin (4-47) came up trumps for Berkswell, despite defiant innings from Alex Phillips (46) and Sam Cheshire (41).
In a match reduced to 35 overs each at Himley, the home side powered past Barnt Green by six wickets, to inflict a fourth defeat of the season on the 2011 Champions.
Richard Wilkinson hit 41 and Craig Crowe added 40 for Barnt Green who were restricted to 136 for seven before Greg Wright’s 54 kept Himley tucked in, in third place, behind Walsall and Berkswell.
Wolverhampton did everything but win against Wellington who finished on 95 for eight in 37 overs in response to the visitors 250 for five declared, in 53 overs.
Staffordshire squad member Aaron Jeavons (87), Worcestershire’s Moeen Ali (72) and Unicorns’ Vishal Tripathi (41 not out) scored the bulk of the runs for Wolverhampton, while Glamorgan’s David Lloyd bowled valiantly for 3-72.
Joe Clarke’s 49 was the best effort with the bat for Wellington while Johannes Bothma’s 7-26 were the best bowling figures in the Premier Division this season to date.
Brockhampton’s impressive debut season continued with a 47 run victory at Shrewsbury thanks mainly to a last wicket stand of 36 between Herefordshire’s Callum Stewart (27 not out) and skipper Owen Price (13).
From 84 for two, Brock slipped to 96 for nine, before Stewart and Price steered their side to 132 all out. Dan Bowen (3-27) and Steve Barnard (3-52) took three wickets apiece and Shrewsbury seemed as though they were on their way to a victory on 44 for two when rain interrupted the game for nearly two hours.
On resumption, with 18 overs to secure a win, Shrewsbury collapsed to 85 all out, thanks to fine bowling by David Exall (3-11), Charlie Griffiths (3-12) and Stewart (3-23).
West Bromwich Dartmouth and Knowle & Dorridge have failed to perform to their own high expectations so far this season and it was Dartmouth who finished the happier side after a winning draw at Sandwell Park.
Staffordshire opening pair, James Campbell (62) and Kadeer Ali (55) put on 120 for the first Dartmouth wicket, before Rawlston Tappin (37) and Navi Poonia (30) took them to 180 for two but Warwickshire’s one-day specialist Steffan Piolet stepped in to take 5-51 and Luke Parker took 4-31 to limit Dartmouth to 223 for nine.
After a couple of interruptions for rain, K & D’s response was restricted to 47 overs and they soon collapsed to 39 for six, then 70 for eight before another Staffordshire batsman, Attiq Chishti (72 not out) and Will Mottram (12 not out) added an unbroken stand of 51 to see their side to 121 for eight, at the close. Imran Khan’s 4-24 were the best figures for Dartmouth.