LEAMINGTON lost heavily to 2015 Birmingham Premier League champions Shrewsbury on Saturday after failing to cope with the challenging bowling from the Shropshire side on what was acknowledged to be a sub-standard wicket.
Leamington have been hit hard as a crop of last season’s team have left for ‘pastures new’, and the relative inexperience in the batting showed against a workmanlike side, benefiting from good bowling conditions.
Batting first Leamington lost two quick wickets before Aussie Max Webber and skipper Lee Hopkins steadied the ship a little taking the score to 36.
A flurry of wickets put Shrewsbury on top and they never released their grip as Leamington were bowled out for a measly 87 in the 30th over. Two wickets apiece for Sam Griffiths and Adam King; three for Ed Foster and Brad Thornton.
The wicket had improved a little and faced with a modest target, Shrewsbury made a confident start. Tom Warner dismissed both openers, Will Parton and Ed Foster, and Ben Stebbings was leg before to the veteran Neil Smith.
Shrewsbury eased to their target in the 20th over aided by a flurry of wides – an old failing of Leamington’s bowlers throughout the club.
Birmingham Premier League favourites Berkswell claimed a 29-run Duckworth Lewis win over KENILWORTH WARDENS on Saturday.
However, despite Mark Best’s half-century seeing Dominic Ostler’s team to a useful 264 for seven from 50 overs, a win was far from guaranteed when rain finally ended the contest, as Wardens’ Nathan Edwards and Martin Donald were rapidly closing in on their reduced win target.
Best (59) and Chris Whittock (31) added 73 for Berkswell’s second wicket, before former Glamorgan all-rounder Nick James (32) and Ollie Haley (43) combined in a 67-run fourth wicket alliance.
This set the stage for veteran former Warwickshire batsman Ostler (45) and Liam Gately (24) to add 72 for the seventh wicket, which pushed Wardens’ target beyond the 250-mark.
Seamer Brinder Phagura continued his excellent start to the season by returning 3-33 in a tidy spell, while slow left-armer Matt Hancock finished with 2-51.
Wardens’ chase got off to the worst possible start, as two wickets apiece for former Leicestershire seamer Dave Brignull and overseas’ star Gert Cloete reduced them to 29 for four.
Edwards and Phagura (23) then combined in a 74-run fifth wicket partnership which steadied the ship before a rain interruption removed nine overs from Wardens’ allocation.
Skipper Donald, who contributed a breezy unbeaten 20, had then joined forces with Edwards, whose excellent unbeaten 45-ball 63 contained seven fours and two sixes, in taking the hosts to 139 for five when bad light intervened.
This left Wardens 24 runs short of their Duckworth Lewis target of 163, and rueing the clatter of early wickets.
Guy Pearson hit an amazing 167 not out as KENILWORTH claimed a winning draw at home to Knowle and Dorridge in the Warwickshire Premier Division.
After choosing to bat first, Kenilworth got off to a flying start with openers Pearson and Mike Watts (38) sharing an opening stand of 103 before Dave Edmunds added 36, but it was Pearson who was to be the star of the show for Kenilworth.
He added an unbroken stand of 132 with captain Chris Prophet (61 not out) for the fourth wicket, as Pearson went on to blaze a quite brilliant 167 not out, his hundred brought up in 83 balls, and in all he smashed 16 fours and two sixies as Kenilworth declared on 323 for 3 off 47 overs.
Knowle came out with a positive attitude and raced to 113 for 1 as opener Shabir hit a fine 87, but Kenilworth kept chipping away at Knowle’s batting with the off spin of captain Chris Prophet ripping through the visitors’ batting as he took a fantastic 5 for 27 off ten overs to complete a fantastic personal game.
Wickets for Aussie Matt Dargan 1 for 50 and Jorjeet Singh 1 for 45, Kenilworth ran out of overs to take the last two wickets, leaving Village on 219 for 8 at the close as Kenilworth claimed 17 points from the winning draw.