A magnificent innings from Tom Lewis followed by a superb bowling display from Tom Milnes, ensured Berkswell came away from their match at Barnt Green with a win by 158 runs, maximum points, and a clear lead at the top of the league table.
Invited to bat first on a surface that looked as if, at the start, it would definitely favour the bowlers, the Berkswell batsmen found it difficult to cope with the conditions posed by the wicket. Losing Ateeq Javid (4) in only the 3rd over and Dan Mousley (2) in the 9th, Berkswell were in trouble at 19 for 2, but a gritty partnership of 22 runs between Danial Chaudhry and Chris Whittock over the next six overs stemmed the loss of wickets. However, Chaudhry (20) became the third wicket to fall when he was caught at mid-wicket by Warwickshire’s Ed Pollock off the bowling of Neylan Chauhan. With the wicket continuing to be unpredictable, run scoring remained a challenge and a patient partnership of 27 in ten overs between Whittock and Nick James came to an end when Whittock (22) was dismissed. The dismissal of Whittock brought Tom Lewis to the crease and in a ten over partnership with James, the two batsmen added another 30 runs. The loss of James (29) at 98 swung the momentum back in favour of the home side, but Lewis, now joined by Milnes, kept the scoreboard ticking over and the pair compiled a 28 run partnership in six overs. At 126 in the 34th over Milnes (11) was bowled by Adam Hines and this brought Richard Jones to the crease. The arrival of Jones changed the whole aspect of the match and from then on, in an amazing display of batting, Lewis took total command. With regular powerful strokes for four runs he reached his 50 off 56 balls, and with Jones adding valuable support from the other end the scoreboard rapidly advanced. With an array of lofted straight drives and colossal pull shots for six, Lewis’ second 50 came off the next 22 balls he received. Meanwhile, Jones was also taking advantage of the disheartened Barnt Green bowlers and the partnership added 124 runs in the final ten overs. Off the last ball of the innings Jones (42) was caught behind by William Baker to give Andrew Sutton (3 for 43) a third victim. Lewis remained undefeated on 101 (6 fours; 8 sixes).
In response Barnt Green started briskly with Pollock taking 12 runs off Milnes’ second over, but Jones, in his second over, bowled Zain Ul-Hassan (1) to leave the hosts on 16 for 1. Pollock continued to put bat to ball and with Tom Brown had advanced the score to 42 by only the 7th over, but Pollock (33), attempting another aggressive shot, skied the ball towards the waiting hands of Dominic Ostler at mid-off, where the Berkswell skipper completed the catch. Jones claimed the wicket of Dominic Harding (9) caught by Whittock at slip with the score on 59, and Milnes then trapped Brown (13) lbw, four runs later to leave Barnt Green on 63 for 4 in the 13th over. Olly Stone, the Warwickshire and England ODI and Test pace bowler, was bowled by Javid in the 14th over having only made one run; Baker (0) was bowled by Milnes in the 15th over; and when Sutton (3) was bowled by Milnes in the 17th over the home side had collapsed to 69 for 7. Rheedyi Amin pushed the score to 79, however, his partner Daryl Williams was then trapped lbw by Milnes for no score off the first ball he faced. At 83 Chauhan (2) was caught by Lewis off the bowling of James, and nine runs later the innings came to a close when Liam Gately stumped Amin (22) to give James a second wicket.
Milnes eventually finished with figures of 5 for 33 of which his last four wickets came at a cost of only four runs. The other Berkswell bowling figures were Jones 2 for 29; James 2 for 2; and Javid 1 for 23.