TOM Lewis and Ateeq Javid were the stars of the show as they helped Berkswell reach the Twenty20 Challenge Cup final and stay top of the Birmingham & District Premier Division One.
A half-century by Lewis in Thursday night’s semi-final with Barnt Green helped Berkswell on their way to a 53-run victory, before Javid laid on 71 to guide his side to a seven-wicket win against Knowle & Dorridge in their league encounter on Saturday.
Berkswell stumbled to 22-3 when losing openers Nicholas Bland (7) and Danial Chaudhry (12), whilst number three Chris Whittock (1) had a short stint at the bat.
But the introduction of Lewis (57) helped build the run count considerably, forming a partnership of 37 with Thomas Milnes (17) that was bettered by the 45 put on with Nick James (8) before the fifth wicket.
Lewis was gone at 105-6, though tailenders Dominic Ostler (9), Grant Thornton (9) and Nigel Perry-Ogden (6) helped Berkswell to a 133-9 total prior to their dismissals.
Barnt Green lost their opening four batsmen at 8-4 in reply, with Milnes dismissing Tom Brown (1) and then catching and bowling Dominic Harding (0), whilst Grant Thornton caught Peter Scott (1) from an Ellis Chester delivery and Chaudhry ran out Rheedyi Amin (5).
Darrel Williams (8) and Zain Ul-Hassan (23) hit 35 to help the Green recover from their early set-back, although their side never looked likely to get close to Berkswell’s total when both were dismissed.
Milnes took another wicket to finish on 3-10, whilst two wickets from James (2-5) and another from Ostler (2-19) ensured the visitors were dismissed for 80.
The victory sets up a date with Shrewsbury in the final in just under two weeks time on Sunday July 7.
An equally impressive win at K&D in the derby followed, with Berkswell beating the hosts’ total of 165 in the 38th over.
Knowle & Dorridge lost the first-wicket at 40-1 after a solid opening partnership between Alex Phillips (15) and Scott Stenning (20) – who was caught by David Brignull (3-51)
England & Warwickshire batsman Ian Bell was next to go for a duck, when caught by wicket keeper Whittock from Richard Jones’ delivery – who then bowled Phillips to take two wickets in succession.
Whittock took a third catch of the game from Sam Reddish (16), whilst Ostler caught William Rigg (5) either side of two wickets for Brignull.
Blake Coburn (33) and Jack Grundy (37) bolstered the scoreline with a 62-run partnership, with K&D eventually being dismissed for 165.
Javid and Chaudhry (37) formed an opening partnership of 87 before the latter’s dismissal, followed by 50 for Javid and Daniel Mousley (46 not out).
Whittock (0) was the third and final wicket to fall, as Berkswell promptly claimed victory.
Berkswell next host sixth-placed Moseley on Saturday (noon).