Berkswell wrapped up their successful 2019 campaign in a dramatic way in the fading light at Moseley in a match that ensured Berkswell completed the season with only one league defeat.
Winning the toss and deciding to bat first, Berkswell lost Dan Mousley (14), and Danial Chaudhry (1), bowled and lbw respectively - both wickets claimed by Freddie Eburah - by the ninth over with the scoreboard showing 38 for 2. However, Ateeq Javid and Nick James were able to resist the opening spell from Eburah and Brinder Phagura and started to get the scoreboard ticking over. Over the course of the next fourteen overs they added three runs an over and compiled a 43 run partnership until Javid (36) slightly mis-timed an attempted straight drive and Eburah held an outstanding catch at mid-off. The loss of Javid brought Tom Lewis to the crease and, after a cautious start to his innings, he was soon into his stride. Meanwhile, James was also taking advantage of a change in the bowling attack and also adding runs to the total. Their partnership of 62 runs came to an end in the 38th over when James (46) was caught, but Lewis and Richard Jones kept the run scoring momentum going. A partnership of 28 ended in the 43rd over when Lewis (41) advanced down the track but missed the leg-side ball and was stumped. With only seven overs left in the innings Tom Milnes and Jones upped the run scoring rate and added a brisk 48 runs in just five overs to move the score to 219, but Jones (40), Milnes (20), Grant Thornton (0), and Dominic Ostler (2) all lost their wickets in the final two overs in the attempt to set a higher total, and the innings closed at the end of the 50th over on 225 for 9.
Moseley’s reply started quickly with Bhavik Patel and Asim Shoaib finding the boundary regularly off the bowling of Milnes and Jones, but at 29 in the seventh over Shoaib (14) drove a ball from Milnes straight to James and he completed the catch. Alex Thomson (0) failed to trouble the scorers after being trapped lbw by Milnes, and then Imandeep Kang (8), and Phagura (0) both fell to Jones to leave the hosts on 58 for 4 in the 12th over. After picking up four wickets in a short number of overs, Berkswell then had to wait for another sixteen overs before claiming another wicket, but the scoreboard had advanced to 147 with Patel, and Jugdip Singh Nandra keeping the Berkswell bowlers at bay and moving Moseley nearer to victory. However, the demise of Patel (55) broke the partnership although Nandra and Ali Awan’s sixth wicket partnership of 31 pushed the hosts closer to the winning total. At 178 Nandra (67) was caught by Mousley off a Javid delivery - his dismissal bringing a sudden stop to the run scoring - and then at 183 Hasnain Mahmood (4) was adjudged lbw, David Brignull claiming the wicket. Despite claiming two wickets in quick succession, Berkswell then had to contend with Awan and Seyaam Khan putting bat to ball in a partnership worth sixteen runs, but with Jones now back in the attack he picked up the wicket of Khan (11) clean bowled, the pace of the ball breaking the off stump and a bail. With the match now finely balanced at 199 for 8, eight overs left, the light fading fast, and Awan still at the crease and scoring runs, the final result was still too close to call. However, in the 48th over, with the score now at 213, Milnes swung the match back in Berkswell’s favour when he bowled Awan (25) to leave Moseley on 213 for 9 and needing another thirteen runs for victory with one wicket and sixteen balls remaining. The last pair of Usman Awan and Eburah kept the hosts in contention taking six runs off the first three balls of the 49th over, but Awan (3), attempting a big hit off Brignull’s next delivery, sliced the ball high in the air to backward point and James, in the gloom, managed to pick up the flight of the ball and ran from cover point to take the catch that gave Berkswell a hard fought six run victory.