What should have been an exciting close finish encounter fizzled out to a disappointing draw although Berkswell still gained the lion’s share of the points on offer.
Batting first, after an uncontested toss, the conditions meant that the home side found it hard going with the ball swinging from the bowler’s hand and also moving off the seam, and Berkswell found themselves at 30 for 3 in only the eighth over with Freddie Eburah (3 for 36) claiming the three wickets all caught behind by Ben Griffin. With Danial Chaudhry (4), Dan Mousley (1), and Chris Whittock (0) all back in the pavilion, it was Ateeq Javid and Nick James that dug deep and battled hard against the early bowler friendly conditions. Over the course of the next 22 overs the partnership added 78 runs, however, Javid (54) was the next wicket to fall when he was given out stumped by Griffin off the bowling of Jugdip Singh Nandra. Tom Lewis (2) had a brief stay at the crease with his wicket falling at 114. With Tom Milnes now joining James the pair quickened up the run scoring and added another 41 runs in eight overs until James (51) was caught off the bowling of Ali Awan (3 for 35). Milnes and Richard Jones were only able to add a partnership of ten runs before Milnes (32) was adjudged lbw in the 43rd over with the score on 165. Skipper Dominic Ostler (20) and Jones managed to push the score over the 200 mark by the 50th over, but with five overs remaining in the innings Jones (31), Grant Thornton (6), and David Brignull (1 not out) could only add a further 17 runs and the innings closed on 217 all out with one ball left of the 55 overs.
In reply, Moseley found the late afternoon conditions more favourable for batting and set about their task. An opening partnership of 57 between Bavik Patel and Asim Shoaib set the visitors on their way, but it came to an end in the 14th over when Patel (16) was caught behind by Whittock off the seam bowling of Brignull. Despite the loss of their second wicket, Shoaib (37) bowled by Thornton with the score at 69, the visitors were still up with the required run rate. At 89 the third wicket fell when Nandra (10) was caught in the 25th over by Lewis. Griffin (63 not out) and Brinder Phagura then compiled a partnership of 41 runs that kept Moseley in with the chance of victory, but when Phagura (20) was run out by Mousley in the 40th over it signalled the end of any attempt to reach the required total. Three more wickets fell in the space of nine overs to give Berkswell the glimmer of a chance of victory, but it was not to be as the visitors blocked out the remaining seven overs to finish up on 165 for 7 at the end of their 55 overs.
On Saturday Berkswell travel to Shifnal to face a side currently in mid table. The match starts at 12 noon.
On Sunday Berkswell face Shrewsbury in the Final of the Birmingham Premier League T20 competition. The match at Meeting House Lane starts at 2pm.