Sale denies West Bromwich the chance to knock off paltry total

Rowington's Eike Gilbert tries to clear the water off the pitch but his efforts proved in vain as his side's clash with Wardens 3rds was abandoned.
Rowington's Eike Gilbert tries to clear the water off the pitch but his efforts proved in vain as his side's clash with Wardens 3rds was abandoned.

For a second consecutive Saturday, Kenilworth Wardens’ sides all suffered abandonments, although some play was possible in all four matches before the elements intervened, writes Paul Smith.

The headlines were grabbed by the 1st XI, whose difficult season took another dramatic turn in a match which will almost certainly feature prominently on a tea towel “explaining cricket to a foreigner” in the near future.

The bare facts state that Wardens declared on 48 for nine after 34 overs, which spanned over seven hours, and by doing so ensured their match at West Bromwich Dartmouth was abandoned.

Under a regulation change introduced in the recent past, their opponents were denied the chance to bat, since too little time remained for them to receive the stipulated minimum 20 overs.

In the kind of bizarre absurdity only cricket can generate, the hero of the hour was wicket-keeper Nick Sale, who grafted 38 balls for an unbeaten four and saw out an unbearably tense final two overs in the company of last man Matt Hancock.

The Sandwell Park pitch, which is usually full of runs, proved the villain of the peace.

A worn surface reacted badly to the frequent heavy showers and the umpires’ laudable attempts to keep play going through rain, to make batting a very difficult proposition.

Warwickshire’s budding superstar Sam Hain may well go on to win 50 England caps, but he is unlikely to experience much quite like his first experience in a Wardens shirt.

He top-scored with a 42-ball 16 before the hosts’ bowlers dominated the remainder of proceedings.

Kadeer Ali and AJ Patel claimed two wickets apiece, while Sarmad Bhatti finished with the remarkable figures of three for six from ten overs.

A much more conventional, shower-disrupted 32.3 overs’ action at Glasshouse Park saw Wellington 2nds reach 99 for two against their Wardens’ counterparts.

Sam White’s tidy opening spell caught the eye for the hosts before the weather finally intervened.

Hosts Rowington won an important toss against Wardens 3rds in Cotswold Hills Division One, who had struggled to 25 for four from 16.5 overs against some accurate medium-pace.

A slow surface and outfield made runs hard to come by and when the weather intervened the visitors’ hopes were pinned on veteran duo Fred Rex and Paul Smith, who had just joined forces.

Steve Jay took two for ten from 8.5 steady overs for the hosts.

Jack Vickery (29), Jonathan Phillips (21) and 36 extras had propelled Wardens 4ths to a promising 105 for four from only 18.5 overs when the rain ended their friendly with Fladbury, for whom Dixon had struck twice.

 Ben Rex and Paul Smith combined for a partnership of 151 as Kenilworth beat Southam by 105 runs in the Sunday Single Team League.

The duo helped Wardens to 227 for three from their 40 overs before Harry Jefferies-Readman (3-18) and Harry Johnson (3-8) shared six wickets as Southam subsided to 122 all out in reply.