A COMPREHENSIVE eight-wicket win over Walmley enabled Berkswell to remain 66 points clear at the top of the table and, with five matches left in the season, they only need to win two more games to claim their first Premier League title.
The visitors to Meeting House Lane won the toss and elected to bat first in a late starting match that had been affected by the weather and was reduced to 38 overs each.
They were soon a wicket down when opener Jonathan Newis (1) was caught by Nick James in the second over off the pace bowling of Grant Thornton.
A 62-run second wicket partnership between George Hargrave and Tom Burton in 16 overs came to an end when Burton (40) was caught on the square leg boundary by Darren Maddy to give Dave Brignull a wicket.
With the scoreboard now reading 64 for 2, Hargrave and Jamie Harrison then combined to add another 44 runs to the total before Hargrave (37) fell to another catch in the deep this time by Brignull off Tom Milnes’ bowling.
Harrison (24) was the next batsman to depart when he was caught behind by Liam Gately off the slow left arm spin bowling of James with the score on 121.
The Walmley middle order completely collapsed with three wickets falling for the addition of only 13 runs, and the tail also offered little resistance with the last three wickets falling with only another 29 runs being added, to leave them 163 all out in the 37th over.
With time lost during the Walmley innings due to a break in play through rain, Berkswell had a revised target of 162 off 37 overs to get to win the game.
Openers Oliver Haley and Darren Maddy made steady progress against the bowling of Burton, and Shozair Ali and had reached 21 by the tenth over, but Haley (11) then edged a catch behind to Hargrave off Burton.
Chris Whittock and Maddy then accelerated the scoring and added another 42 runs in seven overs before Maddy (33) was caught at deep square leg by Newis.
The in-form Tom Lewis then joined Whittock and together the two batsmen rapidly knocked off the required runs for victory in only 13 overs with Lewis ending up 52 not out and Whittock remaining undefeated on 42.
On Saturday Berkswell are at Meeting House Lane again when the take on the early season pace setters Ombersley before travelling to second-placed Shrewsbury on Bank Holiday Monday.