DROPPED catches proved costly as Leamington slipped to a disappointing two wicket Birmingham League Premier Division defeat at Wolverhampton on Saturday.
Having lost the toss, Leamington were asked to bat first and quickly lost opener Mark Best who was dismissed by Worcestershire’s Chris Russell.
However Alex Phillips (22) and David Bailey (40) added 50 for the second wicket to take the score to 62 before the former was caught behind.
Sam Cheshire (30) and Lee Hopkins (20) lifted the total to 115 for 4 as Leamington looked set for a decent score.
But Wolverhampton turned to Russell (6-26) again who duly obliged with a devastating spell which made light work of the Leamington tail as the lower order were unable to cope with his fast in-swinging yorkers and the innings ended on 143.
Wolverhampton’s reply was curtailed to 53 overs due to a rain delay and they also found run scoring difficult against an accurate Spa attack.
Luke Radford, who returned impressive figures of 2-38 off 17 overs, removed both openers early on to leave Wolverhampton struggling on 31 for 2.
The introduction of Faisal Khalid (3-35) swung the balance even further in Leamington’s favour as his three quick wickets reduced the reply to 75 for 5.
When Darrel Williams (2-22) had the dangerous Tripathi caught for 33 and then bowled Russell for 2, Leamington were odds on favourites with Wolverhampton struggling on 80 for 7.
However, an eighth wicket partnership of 48 between Hammond (39no) and Bothma (15) took Wolverhampton to within touching distance of victory.
There was a further twist to come as Tom Davison removed Bothma meaning Wolverhampton still required 16 runs with two wickets remaining.
But Hammond, who was dropped twice during his match-winning innings, kept his nerve to ensure Wolverhampton reached 144 for 8 with nearly two overs to spare.
Leamington, who remain one place off the foot of the table, entertain second placed Berkswell this Saturday.
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