Berkswell’s winning run continued with a 75 run victory over West Bromwich Dartmouth, another side in the mix to be potential title challengers.
Batting first having lost the toss, Berkswell lost opener Danial Chaudhry (4) off the fourth delivery of the innings when he unluckily played the ball onto his stumps. A second wicket partnership of thirty runs between Ateeq Javid and Dan Mousley came to an end when Javid (17) was bowled by Warwickshire’s Aaron Thomason in the sixth over, but Mousley and Chris Whittock then added another 51 runs. The loss of Mousley (34) in the 17th over caught by Rawlston Tappin off the bowling of Khalid Baig, was followed six overs later when Whittock (34) was bowled by the same bowler with the scoreboard showing 100. Nick James and Tom Lewis then compiled a partnership of 86 runs over the course of the next eighteen overs to ease Berkswell nearer the two hundred mark, however, James (32) became the fifth wicket to fall when he was spectacularly caught one handed above his head by Thomason off the bowling of Shoazir Ali. Lewis (65) was the next batsman to depart when he was bowled by Ali in the 43rd over with the score 200. With just seven overs left Richard Jones (29 not out) and Tom Milnes (18) added a late rush of runs and the home side closed their innings on 253 for 8.
The Dartmouth reply started with a quick loss of wickets as openers Tappin and Amit John were unable to cope with the pace of the Berkswell opening bowlers Milnes and Jones. Jones disposed of Tappin (2) caught by Ostler, and Milnes removed John (1) to a brilliant one handed diving catch by Whittock at slip. Milnes then had Zen Malik (1) caught by Ostler to leave the visitors on 5 for 3 in only the fifth over. With Berkswell inflicting such early damage to the Dartmouth batting line up, it was vital that skipper Kadeer Ali and Thomason halted the loss of wickets. With the side’s two best batsmen at the crease the scoreboard gradually started to tick over, and over the course of the next seventeen overs the pair added 75 runs. The introduction of David Brignull into the attack paid off when, in his fourth over, he claimed the wicket of Thomason (47) with a ball that nipped back to bowl the batsman. Meanwhile, Ali still continued to accrue runs now partnered by Canadian T20 specialist Abraash Khan and the pairing added another 42 runs in nine overs. However, when Ali (65) was stumped by Liam Gately off the bowling of James at 122, and Khan then proceeded to run out his partners Shoazir Ali (2) and Manraj Johal (2) the visitors slumped to 133 for 7 in the 35th over. Ostler then held his third catch when he caught Khan (33) off the bowling of James with the score on 144 in the 37th over. Some lusty tail-end shots from Sultan Afsal (20) came to an end when he was caught on the long-on boundary by Milnes to give James (4 for 41) a fourth wicket, and the Dartmouth innings was wrapped up when Baig (1) was bowled by Mousley.
On Saturday Berkswell play host to neighbours Dorridge and the match starts at 12 noon.