RAGGED bowling, plus some distinctly early-season batting, sentenced Kenilworth Wardens to a 133 run Birmingham League Division One defeat at Wombourne, despite Martin Donald’s fluent unbeaten 67.
Since Glasshouse Park has resembled a paddy field for much of the last month, this was Wardens’ first outdoor outing in either nets or a match situation, so Scott Stenning’s side can be forgiven their indifferent display against useful opponents.
After being inserted, the hosts’ top six all contributed usefully, despite tidy spells from Warwickshire paceman Tom Allin and veteran trundler James Jordan.
Keeper Jon Smith led the way with a breezy 80, made from 100 balls with eight fours and two sixes, and his eighth wicket stand of 76 with Dave Hemming (34no) stretched Wardens’ target to a formidable 277.
Sitanshu Kotak began his 17th season in England with a three wicket haul, but he failed to score with the bat, as Wardens’ response struggled to 48 for 4.
Dan Vernon (24) and Stenning (17) both got starts, but only Donald, who hit ten boundaries in a characteristically entertaining knock, threatened Wombourne’s hold on the match.
Steve Howard and Jack Biddulph claimed three wickets apiece for the hosts, who claimed victory with nine overs in hand, when last man Ali Wilkinson became the fifth Warden to fail to trouble the scorers.
Another poor batting display condemned Wardens to a 14 run defeat at the hands of visitors Leicester Ivanhoe in Sunday’s ECB National Club Championship clash.
Despite reaching 96 for 3, after Scott Stenning (41) and Martin Donald (40) added 84 for the fourth wicket, the hosts collapsed to 151 all out.
This left them 14 runs shy of their 165 run target, with 12 of their 45 over allocation unused.
Niall Lafferty finished with 4-19 for an Ivanhoe side who had earlier defied the Glasshouse Park mudbath to recover from 108 for 8 thanks to a useful 46 run ninth wicket partnership between Richard Durose (31) and Amir Sultan (21).
Left-arm spinners Dan Vernon and Mark Pidgeon – the sixth and seventh bowlers used – shared five wickets for Wardens.
Keith Berry grabbed the headlines for Wardens 3rds as they kicked off life in Cotswold Hills League Division Three with an exciting two wicket win at Temple Grafton.
Slow left-armer Berry took a Wardens’ career best 5-30 from 9.4 overs, to dismiss the hosts for 149, then top scored with a battling 28, to help Simon Gough’s side scramble over the line with three overs remaining.
Opener Simon Kirk’s excellent 66 dominated Temple Grafton’s innings, and the hosts were well placed at 104 for 2 after he shared 50 partnerships with skipper Tom Benjamin (18) and Neil Powell (21).
However, Berry ripped through the middle order to leave the game in the balance at the halfway point.
Scott Jones (26) and Nick Linfield (21) both chipped in effectively to the Wardens’ response, but at 113 for 7 it required debutant Dave McCunn’s calm unbeaten 22 to see the visitors past the winning post.
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