Resolute McCreath helps Wardens hold out against Wolverhampton

An animated Prerak Mankad comes close to snaring Wolverhampton's Anesh Kapil. Picture: Morris Troughton
An animated Prerak Mankad comes close to snaring Wolverhampton's Anesh Kapil. Picture: Morris Troughton

An innings of high quality from Warwickshire Academy star Finn McCreath helped a below-par Kenilworth Wardens hold on for a losing draw at home to bottom-of-the-table Wolverhampton.

Winning the toss on a green, slow and low wicket, skipper Mark Pidgeon chose to bowl first.

However, the visitors started brightly with Worcestershire’s Tom Fell and former Surrey squad member Anesh Kapil capitalising on some wayward bowling.

Kapil was the first man to go, adjudged lbw off Prerak Mankad to a ball that looked to be sliding down leg and as McCreath replaced Rowe at the Clubhouse End, he immediately saw Fell depart to a mistimed pull for 30.

Tidy bowling from Mankad (17-7-26-2) helped to keep one end pinned down but Wolves captain Zen Malik kept runs flowing at the other end before losing partners Lycett (12) and Singh (14) with the away side handily placed on 150 for five with 20 overs remaining.

Malik and keeper Nield put on 50 for the sixth wicket before the introduction of spinner Dan Mousley saw Malik caught in the deep for a well-made 71.

Mousley proceeded to rip through the tail to finish with fine figures of four for 23 and the Wolverhampton innings terminated on 267 for nine, bolstered by 37 extras.

In reply, former West Bromwich Dartmouth seamer Aaron Patel produced one of the spells of the season, removing Seager, De Regt and Mousley to leave Wardens wobbling at 47 for three.

McCreath attempted to rebuild the innings but Patel had other ideas, finding late swing to see Johnson and Mankad depart without troubling the scorers.

At 57 for five with 30 overs remaining, Wolves sensed victory and as McCreath picked off spinners Khan and Malik, Max Silvester fell lbw to the latter.

Richard Anthony showed the mental strength to help kill off any chance of defeat as he played patiently for 37 off 76 balls before becoming Malik’s second victim to a well-taken return catch.

McCreath brought up his 50 off 85 balls with a crashing blow off spinner Khan and despite falling late on to Patel (17-6-69-6), Wardens had secured the losing draw as Pidgeon and Hancock blocked out the few remaining balls to see Wardens close on 194 for eight.

Wardens 5ths fell to a 48-run defeat in their Cotswold Hills Division Seven fixture at Bretforton 2nds.

Having won the toss and elected to bowl first, Wardens made good early inroads into the home side’s batting, with Steve Axcell the pick of the Wardens bowlers with four for 21 off his ten overs.

However, Jamie Chin Brown ensured Bretforton would reach a challenging total of 213 for five with an unbeaten 77, supported by good contributions from Jake Harris (28), Andrew Ogg (37) and Duncan Beale (37).

In response, Wardens were in early trouble at 19 for five with Knight (3-23) doing the bulk of the damage.

Les Reid and Keenan Khatavkar then set out rebuilding the innings and were doing a good job before an unfortunate run out saw the end of Khatavkar for an encouraging 17.

With another two wickets falling in quick succession to Duncan Beale (2-19), it was left to Sanjiv Ramabhadran to support Reid with a positive late flurry of 31 runs. With Reid batting through at the other end for 98 not out, Wardens closed on a creditable 165 for eight off their 45 overs.