A FINE display of bowling from Nick James and Gert Cloete, combined with an innings of quality from Darren Maddy enabled Berkswell to keep up the impetus to clinch their first Premier League title.
A seven-wicket victory over Kenilworth Wardens enabled the home side to increase their lead at the top of the table to 49 points.
Invited to bat first at Meeting House Lane the Wardens’ openers, Harry Johnson and Arjun Bath, had progressed the score to 28 when Bath (5) was trapped lbw by Darren Maddy in the 12th over.
Johnson and Basit Zaman then looked at ease with the Berkswell attack and over the course of the next 22 overs they put together a 109 run partnership.
However, when Johnson (88) tamely lifted a ball from spinner Nick James to short mid-wicket skipper Dominic Ostler held the catch.
From a position where it looked as though a score in excess of 300 was likely for the visitors, wickets started to fall rapidly.
Four runs later Blake Maher (2) was given out lbw in James’ next over, and this was followed a couple of overs later when James had Nick Seager (11) brilliantly caught by Tom Lewis running in from the deep long off boundary and taking the ball by diving forward, and then dismissing Zaman (53) bowled.
South African Gert Cloete bowled with pace and aggression, and in a dramatic three over spell ripped out the lower order dismissing Brinder Phagura (5) lbw, Martin Donald (1) and then Nick Sale (0) and Anthony Wilkinson (4) were both caught behind by Liam Gately.
With the total now on 187 for 9 a score of 200 was looking highly unlikely, but Nathan Edwards and last man Matthew Hancock had other ideas and Edwards proceeded to hit an undefeated 75 whilst Hancock remained 9 not out as the Wardens innings closed on 262 for 9.
James and Cloete returned bowling figures of 4 for 69 and 4 for 78 respectively.
The Berkswell reply started with openers Darren Maddy and Mark Best but with the scoreboard reading 16 Best (5) was caught at mid-on by Donald.
Chris Whittock and Maddy kept the scoreboard ticking over with Maddy punishing any loose bowling with powerfully hit fours.
The loss of Whittock (18) in the 21st over at 73 brought Lewis to the crease and over the course of the next 19 overs he and Maddy took full advantage of the lacklustre Wardens bowling.
The pair added 140 runs during which Maddy reached his half century off 66 balls and then his century off 105 balls, while Lewis reached his 50 off 50 balls.
However, Lewis was out two balls later when he was caught on the boundary by Johnson without adding to his score.
Derbyshire’s Tom Milnes now joined Maddy and in an explosive five overs the pairing put on the 50 runs required for victory. At the close, Maddy remained 158 not out his innings including 22 fours and 4 sixes, and Milnes 16 not out.