BUOYANT skipper Dominc Ostler says Berkswell’s three-wicket victory over reigning Birmingham League Premier Division champions Knowle & Dorridge has reignited their bid for the title.
Berkswell put K&D into bat after winning the toss but opener George Worker (79) and Alex Phillips (24) made steady progress.
However, the partnership was broken in the 21st over after the introduction of 17-year-old Josh Aspinall as the young medium-pacer had Phillips given out for LBW.
He then removed Ben Griffin (6) to leave K&D 95-2 after 29 overs.
The next wicket fell at 127 when Worker (79) was stumped by Liam Gately.
Sam Reddish (33), Martin Donald (52) and Oliver Haley (19) continued to accrue runs as K&D closed on 234-7.
Berkswell’s reply got off to a solid start through Mohammed Ahmed (13) and (31) before Nick James (84) and Tom Lewis (42) pushed Berkswell towards the winning line.
The duo combined to put on 101 runs in 22 overs before Lewis was caught with Berkswell at 175-4.
When James was dismissed with the score on 202, Berkswell then lost Ostler (7) and Tom Milnes (245) in quick succession.
However, Grant Thornton (7no) and Gately (6no) pushed the hosts to victory and up to second place in the league ahead of Saturday’s trip to bottom side Wolverhampton.
“We played some really great cricket in front of what was a decent crowd,” Ostler told the Observer.
“There were some excellent performances from Nick and Tom but I think Josh deserves a lot of credit for his performance.
“He bowled beautifully and took two key wickets to set us up nicely to get the victory.
“The win was massive for us, not only because it is nice to get one over your neighbours, but it has put us right back in at the top.
“What is important now is we continue our good form going into this weekend’s game against Wolverhampton who I am sure will have their strongest side out.”
Just 48 hours prior to Saturday’s league match, Berkswell had already got one over on K&D by knocking them out of the quarter-finals of the National T20 Challenge Cup.
K&D amassed 196-9 from their 20 overs with the help of 93 from opener Phillips.
In reply Berkswell reached 197-2 with one ball to spare, thanks to some big hitting from Milnes (90) and Chris Whittock (51no).