20/06/06 – Cricket: Berkswell tumble again

Matt Nightingale writes about Berkswell’s visit to Redditch, where things didn’t go to plan:

Berkswell v Redditch Sat 10th June 2006
Redditch 231 for 9 wickets (24pts) beat Berkswell 214 all out (7pts) by 17 runs

Berkswell’s second consecutive away trip brought a further defeat on a hot day in Redditch, but thanks to results elsewhere the B’s found their 3rd place in the Birmingham League unaltered.

Berkswell lost the toss and on a slow dry pitch, chasing a total of 231 they capitulated to a 17 run defeat despite opener Mohammed Akhlaq’s fine 106.

Berkswell enjoyed a good start when Redditch lost opener Hill for a duck in Dave Brignull’s second over, followed soon after by number 3 bat Southwick, dismissed by Keir Threlkeld for 13.

The Berkswell bowlers stuck well to their task in the face of good batting from opener Dan Protherough, with a hard hitting 77. Protherough eventually succumbed to Sully Khan, one of 2 victims he picked up in a 13 over spell and a return of 2 for 51.

Wickets fell regularly late in the Redditch innings as they pushed for quick runs on a difficult track, especially against the pick of the Berkswell bowlers Paul Vickerstaff who bowled 20 unchanged overs of off-spin to produce excellent figures of 2 for 42. The final Redditch total of 231 for 9 in 55 overs was to prove to be a very competitive one.

Berkswell’s openers Giles Clements and Mohammed Akhlaq took the score to 34 before Clements was first to go for 13. Freddie Klokker soon followed, playing on for 4 and when skipper Dominic Ostler and Paul Vickerstaff followed in quick succession for 0 and 7 the Berkswell innings had stuttered to 48 for 4 from 16th overs. Keir Threlkeld and Richard Blundell both scored 11, and when they were out, Berkswell’s chances of winning from 118 for 6 revolved around the efforts of opener Akhlaq. He was joined in a 7th wicket stand of 78 by Matt Nightingale (23) as the balance swung back towards Berkswell. However, when Nightingale went, Akhlaq’s heroic effort ended when he was bowled by Redditch skipper Nev Mason for 106.

Opening bowler Southwick then returned to bowl Dave Brignull (6) and Pat Milnes (0) with successive deliveries, to condemn Berkswell to a disappointing defeat.

Berkswell return to Meeting House Lane this Saturday where they entertain Ombersley, and look to improve their 3rd place in the league.