September 26th, 2016

Berkswell shock league champions

A MATCH-winning unbroken fifth wicket partnership of 128 between Dominic Ostler (57 not out) and Oliver Haley (61 not out) saw Berkswell come away from 2014 Birmingham Premier League champions West Bromwich Dartmouth with a six-wicket victory.

Having won the toss, visiting skipper Ostler invited the home side to bat first and the decision proved favourable when in just the second over Warwickshire’s Tom Milnes picked up the wicket of opener Basit Zaman.

Five overs later Dan Worrall claimed the wickets of Brinder Phagura (11) and Dan Bassett (0) as the hosts found run scoring difficult against the visitor’s tight bowling attack.

In the 23rd over Brignull removed Kadeer Ali (35) and in the 26th, Worrall, brought back into the attack to replace the injured James, had Sarmad Bhatti (18) held at slip once again by Ostler to leave the Sandwell Park side five wickets down for 80 runs.

A 20 run partnership between Aqsad Ali and Rawlston Tappin came to an end in the 31st over when Tappin (14) was caught behind off the bowling of Brignull.

Ali and Mohammed Sajid then put together an innings steadying 44 run partnership but Dartmouth could only reach 162, with Ahmed being the pick of the bowlers on 4 for 23.

The Berkswell reply started disastrously with Tom Milnes (0) being given out caught behind in the first over and the situation was compounded four overs later when the usually prolific Mark Best (4) was bowled by Bhatti.

Two further wickets went as the visitors found themselves in real trouble at 35 for 4 in only the 17th over.

However, a patient and controlled innings from Ostler, ably supported by Haley, enabled Berkswell to recover from the situation.

Over the course of the next 28 overs the two batsmen avoided the desire to attack unnecessarily, and kept the scoreboard ticking over with singles and the odd two whilst the host’s bowlers struggled to break the partnership.

As the Berkswell innings continued to creep nearer towards the required total, both batsman took the opportunity to increase the scoring rate and started to hit fours and sixes, and the victory came in the 46th over when Haley pulled Basit Zaman to mid-wicket for four.

Having won two of their first three matches Berkswell currently sit in fifth place in the league ahead of this Saturday’s trip to sixth-placed Shrewsbury.

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