THE MID-WAY point of the 2016 season approached with LEAMINGTON still searching for their first win in the Birmigham Premier Division following a nail-biting three wicket defeat at gome to Barnt Green.
Captained by Alex Mellor in the absence of Lee Hopkins, Leamington batted first on Saturday with Jon Wigley getting them off to a good start after scoring 55 and he was supported by Max Webber who made 38 before becoming the first of three wickets for Tom Brown.
Green gained the upper hand reducing Leamington from 142 for 4, to dismiss them for 196 in the 52nd over. Former Leamington man Luke Radford returned impressive figures of 3 for 30 as once again the late order failed to make much of an impression on the total.
In response, Green were reduced to 16 for 2 with Webber knocking over both openers including another former Spa man in Sam Cheshire.
Green re-grouped through Ed Pollock and Warwickshire’s Matt Lamb, before the medium pace of Paul Lawrence accounted for both. Radford was now at the crease however and despite a break for rain, Green were determined to achieve a win in reduced overs.
Radford bludgeoned his way to an undefeated 98, as he single-handedly carried Green to a three-wicket win with the last ball of the match. Matt Davison returned to take two wickets, but to no avail.
Leamington’s second team are also fearing relegation after dropping into the bottome three in the Birmingham Premier Two division.
Spa batted first on a slow wicket that offered some assistance to the bowlers but Himley dominated early proceedings.
Arfan Khan bowled a miserly 15 over spell for just 28 runs as Leamington found it difficult to break free. Only when Tom Mackrill was joined by Rob Williams did the scoring increase. They fell in two overs to change bowler Arun Bhogal. Mackrill top scored with 35 as Leamington collapsed to 134 all out, the returning Mikesh Patel collecting three wickets.
In response, openers Bilaal Hussein and Nikhil Vaidya rode their luck to some extent, but Himley never looked in trouble.
Leamington shelled five chances of varying difficulty, including two in consecutive balls through slip off opening bowler Will Field; both times the ball whizzing to the fence.
Both openers passed 50 as they chanced their arm late on, as Himley skated to a ten wicket win with more than half their allotted overs unused.