Whittock makes most of escapes to put Berkswell in command
A rain-affected finish helped Kenilworth Wardens salvage a well-earned draw at Berkswell in the Birmingham League Premier Division.
The visitors won the toss and elected to bowl first on a green pitch which offered plenty of pace and bounce.
After the early dismissal of Mohammmed Ahmed (2), Berkswell moved the score along to 97 before the fall of the second wicket, Daniel Chaudhry departing run out for 48.
Chris Whittock survived a couple of early chances to hit 85, while Ateeq Javid made 51, sharing in a partnership of 79 for the third wicket with Whittock and at 209 for three, Berkswell looked like posting an imposing total of 300-plus.
However, an unexpected collapse buoyed Wardens’ spirits as they bowled the hosts out for 235 in 54 overs.
Mark Pidgeon was the pick of the attack with four for 34 off nine overs, while Wardens’ overseas acquisition Prerak Mankad continued his rich vein of form with the ball, returning figures of 17-2-54-3.
Wardens’ batting struggles continued, however, as they slumped to 18 for two and 27 four, with Dan Mousley (27) the only batter in the top five to make double figures.
Max Silvester steadied the ship with a flamboyant 56 not out off 68 deliveries, compiling eight boundaries and one maximum.
Along with Finn McCreath (19), Rich Anthony (16) and a dogged 1 not out from veteran skipper Pidgeon, the visitors managed to secure the losing draw, closing on 139 for seven.
They were aided by only having to face an allocation of 50 overs due to a short, sharp shower which saw six overs docked from the innings and walked away with an important seven points to extend the gap on the bottom two to 21 points.
A superb century from Tom Brammer and a remarkable debut from 13-year-old Dan Harris propelled Kenilworth Wardens 2nds to a 66-run win at home to Brockhampton.
Inserted on a poor wicket, Wardens only managed ten runs from their first ten overs as Brockhampton made excellent use of the challenging conditions and lost their first wicket at 18.
However, as the new ball softened and batting conditions eased Brammer and Ben Rex pushed the scoreboard along well.
Brammer played a mature, near chanceless, knock as he struck 14 fours and two sixes in an excellent 124 not out.
Rex, who batted for 43 overs, played the anchor role to perfection, amassing a well-made 73, while Paul Henderson chipped in with 16 not out as Wardens closed on 241 for two from their 50 overs.
Brock lost David Price to the very first ball of their reply but fellow opener George Cook and Charlie Scott combined well despatching the bad balls with ease as they progressed the score to 79 before Brammer removed Cook for 27.
The very next over saw Harris introduced into the attack and he bowled George Mokler for a second-ball duck with a near-perfect away-swinger and followed up with the removal of Andrew Watkins lbw for four.
Only Scott offered any real resistance and when Harris returned for his second spell Brockhampton were 146 for six with little hope of a positive result.
Harris then proceeded to remove all four remaining batsman in a remarkable spell of swing bowling, including Scott for 89, to finish with six for 37 as Brockhamton were bowled out for 175. Wardens 3rds moved into second place in Division Two of the Cotswold Hills League after completing a five-wicket win at home to leaders Dorridge.
Having won the toss and electing to bat, Dorridge were soon in trouble with three wickets for Nick Whiting (3-17) and a run out from Simon Gough reducing the visitors to 29 for four.
Mohammed Zaman (37) and Rizwan Habib (33) then put the innings back on course with a fifth-wicket stand of 43 but a further mini collapse saw Dorridge falter again at 81 for seven.
It was left to Raheel Shah to help his team reach a competitive score with a quickfire 61 before Ollie Morgan-Jones (2-22) and Joel Jacob (2-32) combined to bring the innings to a close at 180 all out in the 44th over.
Wardens once again made a good start courtesy of an opening stand of 86 between Fred Rex (49) and Paul Jacob (61).
Good bowling from Mohammed Zaman (2-33) and Shahib Akhtar threatened to bring Dorridge back into the game at 149 for four but 23 from Simon Gough along with an unbeaten 13 from Lewis Baker saw the hosts through to victory at 183 for five in the 43rd over.
Kenilworth Wardens 4ths lost a topsy-turvy Cotswold Hills Division Six encounter at Winchcombe 2nds by one wicket.
After losing opener John Casey to the first ball of the game, Wardens raced through to 72 off seven overs before Jack Vickery was dismissed for 49 off just 33 balls.
The visitors remained positive but from 139 for four they collapsed to 146 all out in the 32nd over.
Adam Andrews was the pick of the bowlers for the home side with four for 33, supported by James Bellringer who took three for six.
In response, Winchcombe lost regular wickets from the off but a positive 58 from Harry Davies ensured they made steady progress towards their modest victory target.
However, when Sam Johnson (2-19) bowled Davies to reduce the hosts to 82 for four, Wardens sensed an opportunity to get back in the game.
With runs now hard to come by and Keenan Khatavkar taking four for 25, the visitors appeared to be becoming favourites as they reduced their hosts to 111 for eight.
A dogged innings of 35 not out from 99 balls by Adam Andrews and a ninth-wicket partnership of 32 with James Bellringer appeared to have won the game, until Bellringer fell to Harry Readman (2-26) with four runs still required.
Number 11 Joe Parker then hit the winning boundary to the contest in the 46th over.
The previously unbeaten Norton Lindsey & Wolverton 3rds met Wardens 5ths at Snitterfield CC hopeful of extending their 50-point lead at the top of Division Seven.
After winning the toss and inserting the visitors, Norton faced their best batting attack of the season.
Wardens made a solid start with good contributions from Charlie Johnson (22), Joe Mills (23) and Nick Lewis (34) before Arun Sekhar provided the most significant contribution with an excellent 58, allowing Wardens to reach 177 for seven off their 45 overs.
Richard Yendall took the bowling honours, finishing with four for 25 off his ten overs and Hakarn Sumal took two wickets but crucial dropped catches turned out to have a significant effect.
The total proved nearly 60 runs too many as the Norton reply was never really on track, and they crumbled to their first defeat, mainly undone by injuries to key players.
Experienced campaigners Steve Berry (16), Stuart Prout-Richardson (40), and Simon Hathaway (18) battled against the pain barrier to keep the game alive.
However, the introduction of young leg-spinner Sam O’Connell hastened their demise with his deliveries proving just too tempting for a succession of batsmen.
O’Connell went on to claim six for 14 off just 23 balls as Norton collapsed from a well-placed 104 for four to 116 all out in the 40th over.
Joe Mills had earlier picked up two for 12 off seven frugal overs for Wardens.