Basit Zaman’s brilliant unbeaten hundred single-handedly took Kenilworth Wardens to a two-wicket Birmingham Premier League win at Ombersley, writes Paul Smith.
The hard-hitting right-hander smashed six sixes and ten fours on his way to a quite outstanding 112-ball 122, which enabled the visitors to pass their 189-run target in the 41st over.
A sluggish surface offering considerable help to the spinners was perfect for the hosts’ accurate attack, but Zaman never allowed them to settle.
At times it appeared he was playing on a different planet to both his own team-mates, who collectively were 65 for eight, and the hosts, none of whom had earlier batted with any fluency.
The result keeps fourth-placed Wardens in touch with surprise leaders Wolverhampton and the Galacticos of second-placed Berkswell, and extends Martin Donald’s team’s unbeaten run to four matches.
Zaman arrived at the crease when Arjun Bath fell to a good ball from Ted Bayliss, after which he watched a combination of poor batting, scrambled thinking and bad luck reduce Wardens’ chase to 55 for six.
However, skipper Donald (17) then joined him in a pivotal seventh-wicket stand that added 62, before he fell to a good delivery from home skipper Arti Fiaz.
That cleared the way for Tom Brammer to join Zaman in a 48-run eighth-wicket alliance, which forced Ombersley to turn back to slow left-armer Matt Rawnsley (2-49) and off-spinner Ollie Uffindall (3-58).
Although this brought about the downfall of Brammer, Junead Zaman then kept his younger brother company until the hosts passed the finishing post.
Junead had earlier bowled 17 unchanged overs of tidy medium pace during which he claimed the wicket of dangerous opener Liam Gwynne (31) on his way to the fine return of two for 55.
Wardens spinners Scott Stenning (2-54) and Basit (1-46) then kept Indian star Uday Kaul (55 from 106 balls) in check, although he added a useful 75 with fifth-wicket partner Uffindall (36) as Ombersley closed on a slightly above-par 188 for eight.
Kenilworth Wardens 2nds’ Birmingham & District Premier League fixture with Ombersley 2nds was abandoned after just 36 overs.
Having won the toss, Wardens chose to bat first on their home track and made good progress, reaching 183 for three before rain intervened.
Nathan Edwards led the way with 71, supported by Paul Henderson with 64 not out.
Wardens 4ths made the most of their good fortune with the weather to record an 85-run victory in their Cotswold Hills Division Six fixture at Stockton.
Having been put in to bat on a lively wicket, Wardens lost regular wickets, but strong contributions from Nick Lewis (42), Jack Vickery (32 not out) and Dave McCunn (24) ensured they set a challenging total of 170 for six off their 45 overs.
The Stockton response never really got going and, once Luke Salisbury claimed the first wicket with an outstanding run out , wickets fell regularly.
With only one batsmen reaching double figures, Stockton were bowled out for 85 in the 37th over.
Salisbury led the bowling attack with three for 21, supported by Jamie Brown (2-9) and an excellent spell from Matt Davies, who returned figures of two for six off five overs.