Wardens are pinned back by class act Neil
DESPITE a five-wicket haul for Brinder Phagura and Blake Maher’s even-time 81, Kenilworth Wardens slipped to a 46-run Premier League defeat at the hands of Kidderminster.
The duo’s efforts would have been good enough to win most games, but they were eclipsed by a stunning all-round display from the visitors’ Neil Pinner – the former Worcestershire and Leicestershire all-rounder making 132 of his team’s colossal 322 for eight before claiming 5-47 as Wardens were bowled out for 276.
After Phagura’s two early strikes had reduced the visitors to 58 for two, Pinner joined forces with his former Pears colleague Matt Pardoe, who made 62 from 80 balls, to add 117 for the third wicket.
Kidderminster then took full advantage of a superb Glasshouse Park pitch to smash 98 from Wardens’ fifth bowler combination, and accelerate beyond the 300 mark.
Mike Hill’s 34 and a breezy 21 from Connor Smith provided Pinner with excellent support, before he eventually fell for a brilliant 121ball 132, including ten fours and three maximums. Phagura finished with 5-43 from an excellent spell.
Arjun Bath (33) and Basit Zaman (46) added 74 for Wardens’ second wicket, after which Brisbane Heat prospect Maher, who made 81 from 79 balls, kept Wardens in the hunt.
Useful contributions from Nathan Edwards (29) and Phagura (34) took Wardens to 235 for five, but the loss of the Aussie all-rounder was a major blow, and the chase eventually subsided in the 48th over – Pinner, the seventh bowler used, taking 5-47 from 9.2 overs.
Berkswell top the table at the end of the first win/lose section of the season after sauntering to a tenwicket verdict against old sparring partners Knowle & Dorridge.
The visitors elected to bat but an opening stand of 46 between Dominic Harding (18) and Alex Phillips (24) proved the high watermark of their innings as they were rattled out for 127 in 38.2 overs.
Grant Thornton (5-2-18-3) did the initial damage as Knowle slumped to 56-4 and Darren Maddy (9-1-24-2) put paid to fifth-wicket partners Nathan Roberts (32) and Chris Kenny (15) before Nick James (10-1-18-3) cleaned up the tail.
The only issue when Berkswell replied was how the openers would divvy up the runs and honours were duly shared as Maddy cracked nine fours and two sixes in his run-a-ball 63 while Mark Best packed eight fours and two sixes into his 65 from 47 deliveries as the points were secured inside 19 overs.
It was a pointless weekend for Leamington Spa as their meagre 115 total was rapidly eclipsed by hosts Ombersley.
Having lost both openers to Andrew Robertson with only 18 on the board, Leamington threatened a recovery as Alex Mellor (30) and Jonathan Wigley (40) added 45 for the third wicket before the latter teamed up with skipper Lee Hopkins to put on 35 for the fourth.
But Wigley’s departure to a runout proved decisive as the lower order collapsed, Neil Slade filling his boots for an 8-1-21-5 analysis.
Spa hopes flared briefly as the home openers departed for a combined total of nine runs but Uday Kaul (44no) and Nicholas Hammond (35no) quickly found the measure of the visiting attack and clinched victory on 117-2 from 26 overs.
The Division Two going remains tough for Coventry & North Warwickshire and Stratford-upon-Avon who both suffered hefty home defeats.
C&NW elected to field but found themselves on the receiving end of a superb knock from Old Elizabethans opener Nasir Jamshaid.
Having put on 79 for the first wicket with Jamie Boyle (39), Jamshaid blossomed to pile up 124 from 134 balls, cracking 16 fours and a six in the process and dominating a second-wicket partnership of 91 with Ashley Bullock (28).
Elliott Hennessy sweetened the pot with a quickfire 32 as Elizabethans amassed 268-6 from their 50 overs. And that proved too rich for Coventry blood as they were bowled out for 209 in 42.4 overs despite a flamboyant knock from wicket-keeper Amrinder Singh Brar who belted 11 boundaries in his 59ball 66.
Opener Harry Horsley’s 24 was the next-best contribution, Liam Booth spearheading the attack with 3-24 as the visitors completed a 59run victory.
Stratford, meanwhile suffered a 71-run reverse against Oswestry after the Shropshire lads had thrown down the gauntlet with 237-6.
Opener Warrick Flynn offset some early losses with an enterprising 55 (66 balls, ten boundaries) before a fifth-wicket alliance of 120 between Joe Carrasco (66 from 101 balls, eight fours) and captain Jonathan Miles (72 from 85 balls, ten fours) beefed up the target.
Sam Douthwaite showed admirable application to claim those three big scorers for his 10-0-38-3 return but it was all in vain as Stratford were rattled out for 156 in 42.3 overs.
Only David Baily (39), Rob West (30) and Chris Calcott (20) caused Oswestry any real problems as Charlie Morris led the way with figures of 8.3-2-29-4.
Darren Maddy weighed in with runs and wickets as Berkswell moved to the top of the table.