De Regt provides the platform for Wardens to build big score

Robin de Regt justified his recall with 83 for Kenilworth Wardens 1sts against Walsall.
Robin de Regt justified his recall with 83 for Kenilworth Wardens 1sts against Walsall.

Kenilworth Wardens moved to within touching distance of the top three in the Birmingham Premier League after coming away with a winning draw at lowly Walsall.

After being invited to bat at Gorway Road, Nick Seager again made a positive start with a run-a-ball 36 to put Walsall on the back foot.

Welcome contributions from Warwickshire Academy prospects Dan Mousley (17) and Finn McCreath (23) helped support the recalled Robin De Regt as Wardens progressed to 153 for three with 20 overs remaining.

A quickfire 30 from Harry Johnson helped Wardens begin to take the game away from the home side before Prerak Mankad once again came to the party, crashing 7 fours and 3 sixes in a well-made 73 off just 43 balls.

A flurry of late wickets, including De Regt for a patiently made 83, had little impact on the flow of runs as the visitors posted 285 for eight - their highest score of the season.

Mankad bowled Keen for a second-ball duck and Warwickshire’s back-up keeper Alex Mellor (9) soon followed, caught behind by Silvester as Walsall found themselves in trouble in their reply at 42 for two.

Paul Rowe removed the dangerous Dannyjo Cox (42) lbw before Shoaib Akhtar became Rowe’s second victim, seeing his off stump uprooted to leave the home side on 72 for four at drinks.

Skipper Mark Pidgeon then introduced himself and the in-form Matt Hancock into the attack with both finding turn.

Hancock’s patient lines were rewarded with the dismissals of Bruce Thomason and Paul Byrne before Pidgeon got one to grip on a dry surface and had Mateen Khan caught off a leading edge by Johnson to leave Walsall clinging on at 115 for seven with 15 overs remaining.

Brothers Jordan and Luke Stynes played patiently to frustrate Wardens as they searched for a third successive win before a fantastic catch by Hancock off his own bowling provided some hope of maximum points.

However, Robbie Byrne and Stynes (27 not out off 82 balls) batted out time to finish on 162 for eight, with Wardens taking 17 points back to Glasshouse Park.

Kenilworth Wardens 5ths suffered a disappointing defeat at home to Alvechurch and Hopwood 4ths in their Division Seven fixture at Offchurch.

Having won the toss and elected to bat, Alvechurch and Hopwood were soon struggling in the face of good Wardens bowling, with Mark Saunders the only batsman to reach 20.

Wickets for Steve Axcell (2-28), Fintan Hanley (2-33), Nitin Khatavkar (3-13) and Daniel Barrie (2-26) meant that the visitors were bowled out for just 128 in the 33rd over.

Having bowled themselves into a strong position, Wardens failed to follow it up with the bat.

After losing Luke Cooling to injury in the first over, only Manjote Sahota (14) and Andrew Swift (24 not out) provided any resistance as Daniel Lodge took an exceptional six for 25, supported by Arun George with two for 22.

Wardens were ultimately bowled out for just 80 in the 34th over.