SKIPPER Dominic Ostler could not hude his delight after watching his Berkswell side return to winning ways thanks to a comprehensive nine wicket victory this time against the 2015 Birmingham Premier League champions Shrewsbury.
Invited to bat first, the visitors to Meeting House Lane were in trouble from the second ball of the match when the potentially dangerous batsman Ed Foster slashed the ball to gully only to see Tom Lewis hold a magnificent catch above his head, and give popular South African, Gert Cloete, his first wicket of the day. Four overs later he picked up his second wicket dismissing Will Parton (7) clean bowled with a yorker.
From the other end, former Leicestershire seamer Dave Brignull bowled unchanged for 17 overs conceding only 28 runs whilst claiming the wicket of Ben Stebbings (44).
When Grant Thornton (2 for 39) replaced Cloete (2 for 20) and Nick James (2 for 11) took over from Brignull there was no change to the stranglehold being applied by the Berkswell bowlers, and, to add to the pressure, a brilliant piece of fielding from Mark Best saw Oliver Westbury (7) run out by a direct hit.
Henry Blowfield (15) was the only other Shrewsbury batsman to reach double figures and offer any resistance, but when he was out with the score board showing 94 there was little chance that the opposition would post a large total for Berkswell to chase, and with two tail-end run outs the innings finally came to a close in the 46th over on 109.
In reply Berkswell lost opener Oliver Haley (4) in the first over, but Best and Chris Whittock steered the home side through to victory in the 21st over with Best remaining undefeated on 81 and Whittock 20 not out.
“That was another fantastic performance from the guys,” said skipper Ostler.
“Shrewsbury are one of the best teams in the league and to beat them the way we did shows just how strong we are. There is still a long way to go to the end of the season, but if we continue to play in this way we must be in with a chance of claiming the title this year.”
On Saturday Berkswell face newly promoted Leamington at Meeting House Lane.