BERKSWELL warmed up for this weekend’s Twenty20 Challenge Cup final with a winning draw against Moseley in Birmingham & District Premier Division One on Saturday.
The hosts were bowled out for 217 in the final over, following efficient bowling spells by Ali Awan (3-35) and Fred Eburah (3-36), while the Griffs were limited to a 165-7 total from their innings.
A winning draw means that Berkswell stay top of the division by 24 points, and ensures that they remain the only team still unbeaten at the half-way stage of the season.
Moseley won the toss and elected to field first, forcing the hosts to slog it out in the sweltering conditions.
By the eighth over, Eburah had claimed all three of his dismissals after Daniel Chaudhry (4), Daniel Mousley (1) and Chris Whittock (0) were all caught behind by wicketkeeper Ben Griffin with Berkswell on 30-3.
The duo of Ateeq Javid (54) and Nick James (51) combined to put on 78 between them en route to individual half-centuries, with the former the next wicket to fall when stumped by Griffin from a Jugdip Singh Nandra delivery.
Tom Lewis (2) followed shortly after, before James and Thomas Milnes (32) added 41 runs over the course of eight overs.
James was finally gone in the sixth over at 155-6 when caught off Ali Awan’s bowling, while Milnes was dismissed for lbw from Usman Awan’s delivery.
Dominic Ostler (20) and Richard Jones (31) combined to add 39 and take the hosts over the 200 run mark, but only before a collapse of the batting order in which the aforementioned duo, along with Grant Thornton, were dismissed to close the Berkswell innings on 217.
The Griffs looked confident at the crease and swiftly opened with a partnership of 57 between Bhavik Patel (16) and Asim Shoaib (37), with the former being caught by Chris Whittock off a David Brignull ball.
Shoaib was bowled by Thornton, followed by Nandra (10) shortly after when caught by Lewis off Javid’s (2-30) delivery, as Moseley’s run rate began to slow at 89-3.
Brinder Phagura (20) and Griffin (63no) got the visitors back on track with a partnership of 41, though their chances were harmed somewhat when the former was ran out by Mousley in the 40th over.
Moseley’s following three batsmen failed to keep alive their faint hopes of a victory, with Nick James dismissing Ali Awan (7) for lbw before later bowling Hasnain Mahmood (0), while Thornton caught Oliver Jackson (1) off Javid’s ball shortly before the end of the innings.
The two sides are both in league action on Saturday (noon), with Moseley hosting Dorridge, whilst Berkswell head to mid-table Shifnal before facing Shrewsbury in Sunday’s T20 final (2pm).