Walsall face title chase without Jonker
Walsall’s grip on the leadership of the Premier Division was loosened by Himley who cruised to a comfortable six wicket victory over West Bromwich Dartmouth, at Sandwell Park while Walsall’s match came to a watery end at Wolverhampton.
On another dismal day in the West Midlands, typical of so many Saturdays this season, the only other winners were Leamington Spa who defeated fellow strugglers Wellington by seven wickets in Shropshire.
The other three matches were abandoned, frustratingly so for Brockhampton and Berkswell who were denied the opportunity to close the gap on Walsall, who picked up a single bowling point to add to their five points for the abandonment.
The match ended with Wolverhampton on 125 for three with Aaron Jeavons unbeaten on 64, against one of his former clubs. Unicorns’ opener Vishal Tripathi hit 42 and Walsall now face an uphill task to clinch the title without overseas star Christiaan Jonker who is due to return home with four games remaining.
Worcestershire’s Nick Harrison destroyed the Dartmouth innings with superb figures of 8-31, while Ashfak Hussein chipped in with 2-29. Dartmouth were in deep trouble at 60 for nine before a last wicket partnership of 46 by Junead Zaman (43 not out) and Aatif Ali (6) took them to 106 all out.
In reply, Nathan Round (40 not out), Greg Wright (25) and Ben Smith (16 not out) eased Himley to the victory that leaves them with high hopes of claiming their first League title.
Leamington completed a seasonal double over Wellington, at Orleton Park, but they still trail Knowle & Dorridge by 42 points which looks far too much to claw back over the last four games.
Despite 53 from Adam Byram and 44 from skipper Wendell Wagner, Wellington slumped to 137 all out before Jason Young (71 not out) and Mark Best (50) saw their side to their second win of the season.
The mid-table battle between Kidderminster Victoria and Shrewsbury was abandoned after seven overs with the home side on 29 for one. Barnt Green’s James Ord was unbeaten on 36 when his side’s match with Knowle & Dorridge was abandoned with the total on 86 for two and the match between Brockhampton and Berkswell was abandoned without a ball being bowled.