BERKESWELL remain top of the Birmingham League Premier Division after an emphatic ten-wicket victory over near neighbours Kenilworth Wardens.
Having won the toss home skipper Dominic Ostler invited Wardens to bat first and the visitors lost their first wicket when Dan Worrall bowled Arun Bath (0) in the third over with the score on 11.
The hosts had their second success five overs later with Worrall again in the action when he held a lofted shot from Nick Seagar (13) at deep long-on off the bowling of Dave Brignull who then had Scott Stenning (0) caught at square leg by Samar Zaman two balls later.
Worrall was soon involved once more when he claimed the wicket of Anthony Wilkinson (7) who was caught behind by Oliver Haley to leave the visitors on 24 for 4 in the 13th over. In the 14th over Brignull picked up the wickets of Nathan Edwards (1) and Martin Donald (0) to leave the visitors struggling on 25 for 6.
Three runs later Brignull was amongst the wickets again having Nick Sale (0) caught at slip by Chris Whittock.
Sitanshu Kotak then kept the Berkswell bowlers at bay whilst adding runs with Udit Talati, but the partnership was broken in the 19th over when Tulati (2) was given out having been caught behind off Worrall’s bowling with the score on 41.
Rajan Singh Bhatti then shared a 21 run partnership with Kotak before Bhatti (15) was adjudged lbw off the medium paced bowling of Chris Cheslin, and two overs later Cheslin ended the Wardens innings when he had Kotak (33) caught behind to give Haley his third victim behind the stumps.
In reply the homeside’s openers Nick James (36 not out) and Mark Best (38 not out) made short work of chasing down the required runs with the victory coming in the 12th over.
“Having won the toss I was undecided what to do at first,” said Ostler.
“The wicket looked a good hard and dry one to bat on and I believed 250 would be achievable for us, but after the overnight rain
“I thought there might just be a trace of moisture and that could benefit our bowling attack. Dan Worrall and Dave Brignull then bowled magnificently to remove the Wardens top and middle order quickly and Chris Cheslin wrapped it up for us at the end.
“Next Saturday I’m sure we’ll face a sterner test against second placed Ombersley, but our confidence is high at the moment and we’re looking forward to the top of the table challenge.”
In the Warwickshire League Premier Division, Solihull Municipal managed to salvage a draw at Ambleside after the hosts had amassed 305 for 7 with Sam Neale hitting 95 which included seven boundaries and four sixes.
David Mill contributed a more sedate 55 before Darun Kaliray (30), Jake Healey (37 not out) and Graham Woods (23) ensured 100 runs were added in the final 11 overs.
Craig Bissett excelled in the field by claiming four catches while Khalil Ahmed, Gurpal Dahele and Alex Roslyn picked up two wickets each.
Municipal’s reply started disastorously as they slipped to 30 for 5 as Matt Purdy clean bowled Bissett for one and he got both George Gray and Gary Skipp for ducks.
Opener Mike Rowley eventually found support from Roslyn (24) and Jamie Bissett (35) in stands of 48 for the sixth and seventh wickets.
And Rowley’s vigil was eventually ended after a 144 ball stay when bowled by Mills for 47 and despite a couple of very late wickets Dahele and Ahmed secured the draw at 140 for 9.