Six of the best from Mankad earns Wardens nervy victory

Robin de Regt fell for 99 as Kenilworth Wardens 2nds clung on for a losing draw against Moseley 2nds. Picture: Morris Troughton
Robin de Regt fell for 99 as Kenilworth Wardens 2nds clung on for a losing draw against Moseley 2nds. Picture: Morris Troughton

Kenilworth Wardens overseas player Prerak Mankad returned season-best figures of six for 52 as they won a close-fought Birmingham League Premier Division match with Kidderminster by five runs.

July has proved a difficult month for Wardens and yet again poor fielding was nearly their undoing as they dropped four very catchable chances.

Kidderminster won the toss and invited the visitors to bat on an overcast afternoon.

Arjun Bath (22) and Ben Rex (12) got them off to a solid start before seven balls changed the complexion of the innings.

Liam Weston replaced Worcestershire’s George Scimshaw and bowled Bath with the final ball of his first over.

Worse was to follow for the visitors in the next over with Rex adjudged lbw to Connor Smith’s first ball and Mankad forced to retire hurt after being hit by the sixth ball of the over.

Stenning (30) then joined Basit Zaman in a 71-run stand but fine spin bowling from Matt Pardoe (4-41) and Neil Pinner (2-68) kept the innings in check.

Despite Zaman’s 50 (7 x 4, 2 x 6), Wardens had their regular mid-innings collapse, losing four wickets for 27 runs and it was left to Martin Donald and Nick Sale to rescue the afternoon.

Donald played very patiently for a 95-ball innings of 59 and Sale (40) was last out on the final ball, having shepherded the tail through to a respectable total of 255.

However, the fireworks were yet to come.

Anwar and Mankad (with strapping on his badly damaged thumb) opened the bowling and Mankad struck twice in his third over, having Beadsworth lbw with the first ball and the ever dangerous Pinner bowled with the fourth to leave the home side reeling on 14 for two.

Matt Pardoe (34) and Nathan Round looked to rebuild before Mankad struck for the third time, having Pardoe caught with the score on 56.

Smith (50) joined Nathan Round in a 102-run stand that looked to be taking the game slowly but surely away from Wardens, despite some tidy bowling by both Basit Zaman and brother Junead.

Stenning (2-28) then struck twice in his third over, having Smith caught in the deep by Bath and five balls later Geogre Hatfield lbw for a duck to put Wardens very much back in the hunt.

James Kinder’s quickfire 27 saw Kidderminster pass 200 without further alarm before the reintroduction of Anwar and Mankad finally turned the game towards Wardens.

Anwar bowled Round to end his 119-ball innings of 81 before Mankad struck three time in three overs, sending Kinder, Liam Weston and George Scrimshaw back to the pavilion to leave Kidderminster needing 19 at a run a ball for victory with the last pair at the wicket.

The drama continued into the final over. Needing ten for victory, Thomas Kimberlin (18) struck the second ball for four to increase the tension.

However, he was bowled by Anwar two balls later to end a superb game of cricket.

With an inexperienced side due to injuries and holidays, Kenilworth Wardens 2nds battled to a losing draw at home to Moseley 2nds.

Despite losing the toss, Moseley got off to a flying start, racing to 48 inside six overs.

Young Warwickshire bowlers Prabhjote Sahota and Tommy Rex then combined to remove openers Rish Kanjani (39) and Jake Sammons (17).

Inderpal Singh Nandra and Asim Shoaib built a steady 59-run partnership with risk-free cricket as Wardens were left to rue a lack of experienced spinner on a turning wicket.

A late flurry from Iman Kang (44 off 34 balls) allowed Moseley to post an imposing 255 for six from their 50 overs.

Wardens went from 47 without loss to 48 for three before 14-year-old debutant Harry Butler joined forces with De Regt in a slow but steady half-century stand.

A bout of severe cramp saw Butler briefly retire hurt, leaving De Regt to continue his quest for a century.

However, searching for a single to bring up his second ton of the season, he overbalanced and was stumped by Eddie Hulbert for 99.

His dismissal brought Butler (13 not out) back to the crease who, after three pints of water to recover from his cramp, combined with Tommy Rex (21 not out) to block out the remainder of the innings as Wardens closed on 171 for six.

Kenilworth Wardens 3rds secured their first Cotswold Hills Division One victory of the season with a five-wicket win at Winchcombe.

Only Clive Chattell made any significant contribution to the Winchcombe innings with an impressive 75. In the meantime, Ollie Morgan-Jones (3-12) and Ibrahim Afzal (4-46) had torn through the home side’s middle order and the innings subsided to 139 all out in 35 overs.

In response, Wardens lost two early wickets to Dan Clayton (3-33) but solid contributions from Fred Rex (33), Paul Jacob (23) and Alex Waters (33 not out) saw them to their target in the 38th over.

Charlie Johnson was the standout performer as Wardens 5ths secured a two-wicket victory at home to Alvechurch & Hopwood 3rds in Division Six.

Having chosen to bat, Alvechurch & Hopwood reached 230 all out from just 35 overs, with Charanjit Singh (78) and Dino Malik (53 not out) doing the bulk of the damage.

However, Johnson stepped in to dismiss Singh and five other batsmen to finish with six for 44, including the last three batsmen for ducks.

Wardens lost two early wickets to Terry Rowlands (2-36) but that only brought Johnson to the crease, who proceeded to hit 83 not out to guide his side to victory, supported by an excellent 42 from Finton Hanley.

Kenilworth Wardens’ 4th XI fell to a narrow defeat in their Cotswold Hills Division Five fixture at home to Earlswood 4ths.

Having won the toss and asked Earlswood to bat, Wardens made good early progress with the ball, with Matt Davies (2-4) and Sam Johnson (1-21) both particularly impressive as the visitors slumped to 97 for six.

However, an excellent unbeaten seventh-wicket stand between Nick Perrin (37 not out) and Paul Fitzgerald (51 not out) saw the visitors reach 204 for six off their 45 overs.

Wardens’ reply got off to a solid start, with John Casey (40) providing impetus at the start of the innings and Johnson continuing his good day by batting his side into a winning position.

However, too many wickets fell cheaply and when Johnson was last man out for 78 at the end of the 40th over, Wardens had fallen seven runs short on 197 all out.