A successful week saw Berkswell continue to compete for silverware on two fronts as they won a tough Premier Division encounter on the road against a full-strength West Bromwich side in the league, followed by a local derby triumph at Dorridge in the league’s T20 Cup competition on Wednesday.
The Meeting House Lane squad was resplendent in new kit carrying the name of new sponsor Tyler Packaging, who joined forces recently in recognition of the clubs’ burgeoning status in the area for top quality junior and senior cricket and increasing involvement with the local community.
The club, which is currently flying high in second place in the Birmingham League’s Premier Division, having gone up as Division One Champions in 2011, is happy to see spectators at all their fixtures home and away. Tomorrow (Sat 30th June) sees the 1st XI squad take the short trip to face Leamington Spa CC at their Arlington Avenue ground in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire CV32 5UG. The game gets underway at midday.
Birmingham & District Premier League – Premier Division
West Bromwich Dartmouth 105 all out v Berkswell 106/5
Berkswell maintained their challenge for the Premier League title in what finally turned out to be an impressive five wicket win away at West Bromwich Dartmouth, after some hard fought passages of play.
Strengthened by the return to the side of Warwickshires’s Tom Milnes, Berkswell invited the home side to bat first after winning the toss. Openers James Campbell and Kadeer Ali had put on 20 runs in the against a strong opening attack of Rainsford and Milnes. Ali (5) became the first wicket to fall when he edged a ball from Zimbabwean Rainsford to skipper Ostler who held a stunning one-handed catch low down at slip. One over later Milnes accounted for Campbell (20) to leave the hosts on 28 for 2. New batsmen Navdeep Poonia and Ateeq Javid stemmed the loss of wickets adding another 12 cautious runs in eight overs before Poonia (7) miss-timed a drive to find himself well caught at mid-off by James Neale to give Milnes his second wicket. Rawlston Tappin’s stay at the crease lasted fifteen balls before Dave Brignull trapped him lbw without scoring, the wicket falling with the scoreboard reading 47. Dartmouth skipper Guriq Randhawa (0) only faced three balls before he was caught behind by Phil Neale to give Chris Cheslin his first wicket and leave the Black Country side five down for only 48 runs. Five runs later in the 21st over Cheslin picked up his second wicket when Javid (6) was caught at mid-on by Babar Khan. A promising partnership of 28 runs in 15 overs between Mark Fisher and Junead Zaman came to an abrupt end when a breakdown in communication between the two batsman saw Fisher (10) run out following a miss-field. Responding to a call from Zaman, Fisher was stranded half way down the track as a quick recovery by Jack Cornick at point saw the batsman fail to make his ground having been sent back – the ‘keeper removing the bails. Following the departure of Fisher, Zaman added another 13 runs but saw Naheem Sajjad (0) have his off stump removed at the other end by Milnes in the 41st over. The re-introduction of Rainsford had the desired effect as he picked up the wickets of Zaman (37), brilliantly caught behind one handed by Phil Neale diving to his right, with the last ball of the 42 over, and then Imran Khan (5) bowled with the first ball of the 44th over to leave the home side all out on 105 – Rainsford finishing with 3 for 22 and Milnes 3 for 34.
In reply the Berkswell innings started cautiously and the loss of Phil Neale (4) and Mohammed Akhlaq (4) for only 13 runs by the 12th over raised the hopes of the home side. However, a 24 run partnership in eight overs between James Neale and Jack Cornick relieved the pressure and swung the game back in favour of the visitors. However, the loss of Cornick (9) encouraged the hosts once more but it proved to be short lived as Ostler and Neale patiently compiled another 35 runs in 12 overs to move Berkswell nearer the required total. The loss of Ostler (21) with the score at 72 brought Milnes to the crease and he was quickly into his stride with a series of well timed shots. Having batted with composure for 35 overs Neale (33) became the fifth wicket to fall when he was bowled by Javid but the demise of Neale spurred on Milnes and, with support from Jon Coleman (8 not out), he quickly brought the match to a conclusion with a rapid 24 not out off only eleven balls, his innings containing 3 fours and a six.
An elated Dominic Ostler said: “Once again this was another magnificent team display away from home and it keeps us up with the leaders and still in contention for the title.”
Saturday (30th June) Berkswell travel the short distance to local rivals Leamington Spa at their Arlington Avenue ground.
Birmingham League T20 Cup – 3rd Round
Berkswell 140 for 7 (20 overs) by 35 runs
Berkswell got off to a quick start batting first at Dorridge, with the openers racking up 100 without loss from the first 12 overs, including a fine 71 from Phil Neale, skippering in the absence of Dominic Ostler. A collapse ensued in the face of tight bowling from Dorridge skipper Ball (5 wickets for 10 runs), followed by a late rally for Berkswell to complete their 20 overs on 140 for 7 wickets.
Tight bowling from a varied attack (including Cheslin 3 wickets for 20 runs) kept Dorridge under pressure throughout their run chase, sufficient enough to force the wickets to fall when they tried to raise momentum in the closing overs of their chase.
Berkswell now look forward to a Quarter Final tie away at Tamworth.