Wardens 1sts left frustrated but 2nds complete vital victory
Rain forced the abandonment of Kenilworth Wardens' Birmingham League Premier Division clash at home to Barnt Green with the visitors handily placed on 201 for four.
After a delayed start caused by heavy overnight rain, Barnt Green won the toss and decided to bat in a game reduced to 53 overs per side.
Jamie Harrison (30) and Tom Brown put on 64 for the first wicket in 13 overs before Harrison was caught on the boundary by Ajun Bath off Basit Zaman.
Ed Pollock joined Brown and the pair moved the score steadily on at four an over before a sharp rain shower took the players off the field.
After the rain break the introduction of Junead Zaman into the attack paid instant dividends, with Pollock (55) caught behind off his first ball after a stylish innings which included six fours.
As the rain clouds gathered again, Matt Hancock (2-35) ended Brown’s 91-ball innings on 70, caught behind by Nick Sale and picked up the scalp of Australian overseas player John Psarakis eight runs later.
Barnt Green passed 200 in the 42nd over before rain started to fall and the players retreated to the pavilion for an early tea.
Unfortunately, steady rain prevented any resumption and the game was abandoned as a draw.
Half-centuries from Richard Anthony and Robin De Regt gave Wardens 2nds an excellent three-wicket win at Halesowen in the Premier Divison 2nd XI.
After winning the toss, Wardens opted to bowl first with an ever-changing weather forecast at the forefront of their minds.
Warwickshire youngster Khayam Khan and Tommy Rex opened the bowling with economical spells on a turgid wicket.
However, with little assistance from the pitch or overhead conditions, Wardens quickly turned to their three-pronged spin attack.
Veteran spinner Mark Pidgeon clean bowled Thomas Williams (23) and once Rahul Trivedi had the well-set Naim Luhar (53) caught by Khan in the deep Halesowen were 101 for two with overs running out.
Only skipper Joseph Troman’s 14-ball 23 put any significant pressure on Wardens as Halesowen finished on a below-par 168 for eight from their 50 overs.
In reply, rain reduced Warden’s chase to 40 overs but the added moisture appeared to improve batting conditions as the ball came more freely on to the bat.
As is almost a weekly occurrence, opener De Regt (51)and number four Anthony (55) both scored excellent fifties as their outstanding 2017 form continued.
With Wardens seemingly cruising to victory on 137 for three, Luhar grabbed three late wickets including two controversial lbw decisions, to give the vocal Halesowen side a sniff.
However, with three runs required from the final over, wicketkeeper Jonathan Phillips’ late cut brought Wardens victory and a useful 20 points in their pursuit of the top two.
Kenilworth Wardens’ 5th XI secured a welcome victory in their rain-interrupted Cotswold Hills Division Six fixture at Kineton 2nds.
Having lost the toss and been asked to bat, the hosts made 157 all out off 43 overs with Fraser Lindsay providing the backbone of the innings with 63.
Arun Sekhar (3-18) and Billy Ward (3-23) the main wicket-takers for Wardens.
A rain interruption meant Wardens were chasing 87 in 27 overs to win the game and they sneaked over the line, reaching their target with three wickets and two overs to spare.
Alistair Loughton (2-17), Adam Lane (2-29) and Shane Clarke (3-36) almost did enough to claim a win for Kineton.
Wardens’ 3rd and 4th XI both saw their fixtures abandoned due to rain.
The 3rd XI had asked Chipping Campden to bat first in their Division One fixture and the visitors reached 130 for four before the rain set in, leaving opener Sam Nicholls unbeaten on 53.
Wardens 4ths were left frustrated in their Division Five fixture at Leek Wootton 2nds.
Wardens produced their best bowling performance of the season to reduce Leek Wootton to 54 for five before rain halted play for the day after just 19 overs.
Christian Salisbury was the standout performer with two for ten off his five overs.