Thornton is a star for Spa

A Smethwick fielder shows his delight after the dismissal of Leamington's Jamie Marsh.
A Smethwick fielder shows his delight after the dismissal of Leamington's Jamie Marsh.
  • Promotion remains a possibility for Leamington going into final game

Grant Thornton’s excellent all-round performance kept Leamington in the hunt for promotion to the Birmingham Legue Premier League with one match remaining.

Visitors Smethwick came into the match in second and, having won the toss, they gained the early advantage, reducing Leamington to 47 for five on a soft, damp wicket.

Former Warwickshire bowlers Tahir (2-34) and Sheikh (3-28) did the early damage before a sixth-wicket partnership of 52 between Jon Wigley (32) and David Bailey (28) got the innings back on track.

However, it was a sparkling innings of 77 not out from Thornton which put Spa in control as the hosts closed on 206 for nine.

In reply, the Smethwick innings followed a similar pattern to Leamington’s as Thornton ripped through the top order to reduce them to 18 for three.

While Poonia was at the crease, both results were still possible.

But Shahbaz Alam (2-32) then removed the dangerman and spinners Nabeel Asghar (1-21) and Jamie Marsh (1-16) followed up the good work of the seamers.

When Tahir (25) looked to score quick runs, Thornton was called brought back into the attack by Bailey to clean up the tail.

He took just three balls to claim the final two wickets, finishing with fine figures of five for 21 as Smethwick’s innings closed on 127.

The victory lifted Leamington to third in the table and they must now rely on champions Walsall beating Old Hill and themselves overcoming Attock in their final fixture to grab the second promotion slot.

Leamington 2nds’ title challenge ended with a four-wicket defeat at Kidderminster.

Stand-in skipper Jim Gethins won the toss and elected to bat, trying to make use of a packed batting order.

Despite the early loss of Dave Hawkes, Leamington started brightly and Joe Somra scored freely before falling for 30.

Jack Bewick made a much more measured 31 and with Matt Davison looked to be laying the platform for a good score.

However, the introduction of Logan turned the game as he dismissed both Davison and Bewick in his first over.

The Leamington batsmen struggled to cope with the seaming ball and Logan went on to claim six wickets as the innings was curtailed for a well below par 143.

Knowing only a victory would keep them in with a chance of winning the league, Leamington’s opening bowlers started promisingly.

Tom Davison, in particular, beat the bat numerous times and was unlucky to just to pick up the single wicket in his spell.

Lee Credgington bowled with good pace and aggression to put the Kidderminster batsmen under pressure and the experienced Hawkes made full use, picking up two quick wickets at the other end to reduce the hosts to 54 for four.

Luck was against them, though, as leading edges went anywhere but to the fielders’ hands and Kidderminster reached their target in the 39th over with four wickets in hand.

 A number of missed opportunities cost Leamington Khalsa as they fell to a 40-run defeat at Corley in Warwickshire Division Two.

Captain Indy Kalsi won the toss and his decision to bowl first on a slightly damp wicket was rewarded when David Rogers was dismissed by Pardeep Sharma for five.

Corley captain Paul Williams found the boundary on several occasions before he skied one to short cover when he was on 20.

However, his luck was in as the catch was dropped and he went on to score 74.

Tejpal Dulay picked up a couple of wickets but a classy unbeaten 80 from Stuart Higgins, who made the most of being put down on 35, and some lusty blows from Derek Radburn took Corley to 233 for seven off their 50 overs.

Dulay was the pick of the bowlers with three for 48.

The loss of in-form Asaad Qureshi for nine was an early blow to Khalsa but a sensible partnership between Karanjit Sahota (42) and Bopanna Natolanda (59) set the game up for the away side.

Once Sahota departed, Natolanda continued to bat well with the middle order but Vish Sharma and Aman Kalsi both made starts before falling in quick succession.

Tight bowling from Tom Randall was rewarded with the prize scalp of Pardeep Sharma for nine and Randall went on to claim two wickets in two balls to reduce Khalsa to 187 for nine.

A six from Taz Sharma kept Khalsa in contention, but it was not to last as he was run out next ball to end the innings on 193.