A blistering display of hitting from Dorridge skipper Dave Ball sentenced Kenilworth Wardens to a seven-wicket home Birmingham Premier League defeat, writes Paul Smith.
The Aussie left-hander smashed six fours and four sixes in his unbeaten 59-ball 82. He added 154 with third-wicket partner Joe Dodd, who contributed a fine unbeaten 96 as Dorridge powered past the hosts’ 281 for seven with 15 balls remaining.
Mo Ishtiaq (43) and Warwickshire’s Aaron Thomason (49) had got the visitors’ chase off to an excellent start with a 99-run opening partnership. But when both fell in quick succession to Udit Talati, and Matt Hancock snared Valeed Butt cheaply, Wardens were well placed.
However, Ball was in aggressive mood and his assault on Wardens’ spinners soon swung the match decisively in Dorridge’s favour.
Talati finished with two for 97 from 17 overs, while Ball once again proved himself to be one of the few batsmen able to consistently master Sitanshu Kotak, who was despatched for 91 from 16 wicketless overs.
Before tea, Wardens’ most convincing batting display since the opening day had seen them post a competitive total.
This was built around an excellent second-wicket partnership of 161 between Arjun Bath, who made a fine 107-ball 76, and Nick Seager.
The powerful right-hander, who struck four maximums and ten boundaries in his 98-ball 87, showed a welcome return to form and his high-tempo knock was matched by Martin Donald (49 not out) and Kotak (31).
A remarkable, drama-packed match at Astwood Bank ended with Wardens’ 2nd XI claiming a four-wicket win after successfully chasing 309 on a belting batting pitch.
A forgettable day for the bowlers saw home opener Tom Pedley smash an outstanding unbeaten 167, but incredibly finish on the losing side courtesy of the visitors’ brilliantly-paced run chase.
Tidy-but-wicketless spells from visiting seamers Dan Wood, Paul Henderson and Charlie Tustain provided little indication of what was to follow as Pedley and opening partner Ryan Blakemore (69) built a useful opening stand.
With the support of fifth partner Adam Watson (32 not out), the hosts’ opener then cut loose against left-arm spinners Mark Pidgeon and Rahul Trivedi, to race beyond 150 and set a seemingly impregnable 309 for three target.
After tea, Pidgeon (65) and opening partner Ben Rex (50) soon redressed the balance with a century partnership of their own.
Henderson’s typically hard-hitting 45, and a breezy 43 from Wood then ensured the chase remained on course, while the concession of 57 extras also did little to help Astwood Bank’s cause.
This left seventh-wicket pair Dan Phillips (27 not out) and Trivedi (11 not out) to ease Wardens to victory with two balls remaining.