Leamington struggling to adapt to the top table

Karan Patra stuck around a long time for his 30 as Leamington found runs hard to get against Wolverhampton 2nds. Picture: Morris Troughton

Karan Patra stuck around a long time for his 30 as Leamington found runs hard to get against Wolverhampton 2nds. Picture: Morris Troughton

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Leamington remain at the foot of the Birmingham League Premier Division table after a six-wicket defeat to a Wolverhampton side featuring former India Test player Wasim Jaffer.

After being put into bat, Leamington’s early order showed its brittle nature with the hosts picking up three cheap wickets.

Jon Wigley and Lee Hopkins steadied the ship, taking the score to 92 before Wigley was caught for 46.

Hopkins fell soon after for 27 and Leamington were thankful to a defiant innings from Nabeel Asghar whose 46 took them to 185 all out in the 54th over.

In response, Wolves were always in the box seat despite a slight wobble when Asghar added a wicket to two early strikes from Tom Warner to leave them on 60 for three.

Jaffer made a cultured unbeaten 51 and, with support from the middle order, in particular Twohig, Wolves eased to a victory with more than 11 overs in hand.

A shambolic performance in the field allowed Wolverhampton to coast to a seven-wicket win at Leamington 2nds.

The day had started well for Spa as Steve Dyer blazed an early trail, scoring 51 out of the first 60 before falling to Zulfiqar Khan.

Karan Patra made a painstaking 30 and Nick Couzens contributed a well-crafted 58 as Leamington struggled to break free from Wolves’ tight bowling.

Tom Davison gave the innings impetus with a quickfire 33 before becoming Will Neild’s second run-out victim as Leamington closed on 233 for nine.

Wolves’ early response mirrored their hosts with the prolific Amrit Singh partnered with the pedestrian Archie O’Hara.

However, Leamington failed to take one of four chances offered by Singh and he took advantage, falling just before the end for 134.

Jaswal also perished for 49, but by then the wheels had collectively fallen off the Spa wagon.

Tom Mackrill played a superbly paced innings to lay the platform for a 153-run win for Leamington 3rds at Bidford.

Batting first on a wicket that required progress to be made carefully, Mackrill (95) and Rob Ainscow (27) began in studious manner and at the drinks interval Leamington had reached 87 for one.

Wayne Killian (26) perished trying to accelerate the pace shortly after and Sam Forster (58) joined forces with Mackrill to scamper and bludgeon the run rate up towards six an over.

Amid a flurry of wickets the innings closed at 252 for seven.

Helped by Leamington’s inability to bowl straight, Bidford made good progress to reach 63 for one in 13 overs.

However, Killian (4-12) then took a wicket in his first over and he and fellow slow left-armer Charlie Curtis (5-20) ripped their way through the batting to wrap up the innings for 99.

Leamington 4ths gained a hard-earned victory at home to Overbury on Saturday.

Unusually for a side in the lower reaches of the league pyramid, Leamington included two players with first-class experience.

Richard Bate, once a team mate of Mike Atherton at Cambridge, opened with Cam Mitchell and scored a pleasing 39, while his young partner showed promise once more with 28.

The middle order faltered and despite a few lusty blows from captain Shaun Williams (40 not out), Leamington’s total of 184 for seven seemed well under par on a good track.

This appeared to be confirmed as Overbury’s David Bull and Dan Higgins set about the youthful Leamington attack.

Higgins made 34 before becoming the first of two victims for former Warwickshire skipper Neil Smith.

The middle order faltered but it was not until Bull was bowled by Williams for 70 that the game turned Leamington’s way.

Overbury had no answer to Williams’ clever variations of flight and he ran through the latter batsmen at will, ending with six for eight in eight tantalising overs as Overbury were dismissed for 148.