IT WAS OLTON who came out on top in the battle between the two Solihull sides as they bear HAMPTON & SOLIHULL with eight balls to spare in the Warwickshire Premier Division.
Hampton & Solihull made the short trip to Grange Road to face pre-season favourites and 2015 runners-up Olton.
Overcast conditions and a grassy wicket made it an easy decision for home skipper Phil Trilloe to bowl first, and he duly lead the way with the ball, picking up 2-12 from his opening spell.
Johangir Khan dug in for Hampton, compiling a gritty 44, however regular wickets fell at the other end with good pressure applied by spin pair of Kevin Crotty (2-23) and Asif Ali (3-15) as the visitors who bowled all out for 120.
In reply, Olton lost the wicket of Dan Ceillam (2) early to Khan (1-26), before Zaid Joseph (36) and Ali built steadily towards the total.
With the score on 79 for 1 the rains came, and with over an hour lost from the game, the equation for Olton was reduced to 42 runs off 5 overs for the win.
Ali opened his shoulders to great effect, hitting tree sixes and a four to carry Olton home with eight balls to spare with 78 not out.
SOLIHULL BLOSSOMFIELD maintained their unbeaten start to the 2016 season in Division Two with a routine victory away to Hunningham.
After being put in to bat first, the hosts lost Aman Kalsi early to Harvey Satterthwaite (3-34) but were able to regroup thanks largely to the efforts of fellow opener Ed Russell (84) who fell just 16 runs short of his century.
Hunningham appeared to be on course for a score in excess of 200 at 133-3, but a short rain delay helped the visitors re-group and they managed to pick up the remaining seven wickets for just 33 runs.
It was another accomplished team bowling display with Jamie Kinman (2-15), Naveed Bashir (3-30) and Satterthwaite doing most of the damage, while 13-year-old seam bowler Jack Felton also picked up his first wicket in senior cricket.
With more rain looking likely, openers Richard Weaver and Bashir took the attack to their hosts with an opening stand worth just shy of 100 runs.
Weaver was dismissed by Lewis Mundy on 38 but this didn’t slow down his opening partner who raced to a century littered with boundaries, inside 23 overs.
He was joined in the middle by Edward Thompson (22) who won the game with a maximum over long-on.
In the Birmingham Premier League, BERKSWELL’s match against near neighbours Kenilworth Wardens came to a premature end when heavy rain brought a cessation to proceedings.
That did not stop Berkswell from claiming maximum points from the game to move them into second place in the table.
Batting first Berkswell, notched up a creditable 264 for the loss of seven wickets in their allotted 50 overs, with opener Mark Best top scoring with 58 and there were valuable contributions from the middle order off skipper Dominic Ostler (45) and Oliver Haley (43).
With rain falling during the tea interval, a delay to the start of the Wardens innings meant that, upon the restart of the match, the Wardens were now chasing a revised target of 253 in 41 overs.
However, the Wardens were unable to cope with the Berkswell opening attack of Gert Cloete (2-27) and David Brignull (2-25) who had reduced the home side to 29 for 4 by the ninth over.
Nathan Edwards and Brinder Phagura then stemmed the loss of wickets with a partnership of 74 in 12 overs, but the loss of Phagura (23) put the pressure back on the Kenilworth side.
With Edwards (63 not out) and Martin Donald (20 not out) another interruption for rain ended the match with the Wardens on 139 for 5 and, using the Duckworth Lewis system, still another 24 runs adrift of the required winning total from the number of overs bowled.