KENILWORTH WARDENS’ new signings Brinder Phagura and Basit Zaman made an immediate impact to steer their new club to a comprehensive seven wicket victory over West Bromwich Dartmouth to move into the semi-final of the Graham Williamson Trophy.
Phagura’s excellent new-ball burst returned 3-15, including the prized scalps of former county players Kabir and Kadeer Ali, as Dartmouth were contained to 170 for eight in their 40 overs.
Basit then smashed a fine century as Wardens cruised home with eight overs and seven wickets remaining.
Ironically, the pair of talented all-rounders made their Wardens’ debuts against the club they left at the end of last season, and with whom they shared in a Birmingham Premier League winning campaign in 2014.
Their immediate impact on a Wardens’ side rebuilding after the retirement of Sitanshu Kotak was encouraging for the season ahead, as was the seam-bowling contributions of his replacement Australian Blake Maher and the club’s fourth new signing Junead Zaman.
After Rajan Bhatti (21-1) and Phagura had reduced Dartmouth to 47 for five, Maher produced a tidy spell in support of Junead who claimed 2-27.
Amit John (43) and Shahzeb Raja (30) rebuilt things for Dartmouth with a useful 54-run sixth wicket alliance as they reached 170.
Wardens’ quest for 171 suffered an early setback as Nick Seager fell for three, before the dismissal of Keith Bell (13) brought Basit and Maher together in a match-clinching 119-run third wicket partnership.
The Aussie played the supporting role with a measured unbeaten 36, and Basit’s clean ball-striking from the non-strikers’ end saw him hit 13 fours and four maximums in a brilliant 91-ball 105, before falling with two runs required.
Wardens face Walsall in the semi final next Sunday.
Elsewhere, a poor batting display condemned KENILWORTH to an opening day defeat away at Standard in the Warwickshire League Division One.
The visitors disappointingly slumped from 39-1 to 99 all out in Coventry inside 35 overs.
Only three batsmen reached double figures with openers Phil Edmonds (20) and Dave Edmunds (16) making a solid start while Mike Watts scored ten.
Seven batsman did not value their wickets enough and were clean bowled against an accurate Standard attack that saw seamer Steve Vaughan pick up 4-28 from 12 overs and spinner O’Hara ripped through the tail to pick up 3-3 off 5.2 overs whilst Patel took 2-21.
Standard eased to victory thanks to an unbeaten 40 from Andy Jones as he guided the side to 104-4 in 28.3 overs. Jones added 25 and Vaughan scored 14 as Tom Pope returned figures of 2-30, Joe Boyle 1-14 and Edmonds 1-21 for Kenilworth but it was day for them to forget.