Trevor Jordan reports on a change in fortunes for Berkswell as their Tyler Packaging sponsored 1st XI registered their first victory in a rain affected encounter at Himley in Staffordshire. Berkswell also gave debuts to former England cricketer Darren Maddy and bowler Imran Arif.
Birmingham & District Premier League – Premier Division
Himley 212-5 lost to Berkswell 148-3 (rain reduced victory target)
“A vast improvement in all departments of our game,” was skipper Dominic Ostler’s verdict after his Berkswell side ran out winners by seven wickets away against a Himley side who had been sitting at the top of the table as the match started.
Winning the toss, former Warwickshire batting legend Ostler had no hesitation in electing to bowl first on a track showing a tinge of green. He was duly rewarded as early as the third over when Imran Arif, making his Berkswell debut, claimed the wicket of Himley captain Greg Wright (3) caught behind by Phil Neale. A 49 run partnership between Jamie Harris and Tom Kohler-Cadmore, spanning 13 overs came to an end when Kohler-Cadmore (27) edged a ball from Chris Cheslin into the waiting hands of Phil Neale, and the loss of Kohler-Cadmore was quickly followed by the departure of Harris (21) caught by Tom Lewis again off the bowling of Cheslin.
Mike Jones and Nathan Round then combined to steady the home side’s innings and put together a 93 run partnership before Round (46) offered another catch to Phil Neale behind the stumps off Arif. The visitor’s bowler claimed his third wicket when he had Chris Tranter (22) well caught by James Neale the ball swirling high in the wind. The Himley innings finally closed on 212 for 5 after 50 overs with Jones undefeated on 74. For Berkswell Arif finished with 3 for 66 and Cheslin 2 for 26.
After a delay for rain at the start of the Berkswell reply the visitors were now chasing a revised total of 200 in 42 overs to win the game. Another rain delay reduced the target to 185 off 39 overs and openers James Neale and former England international and current Warwickshire player Darren Maddy, also making his Berkswell debut, set about the task. However, Neale (3) was caught behind by Dhillon in the 3rd over with ten runs on the scoreboard. Tom Lewis now joined Maddy and the pair rapidly advanced the score with the latter looking impressive, but in the 9th over with the total on 40 Maddy (29) edged to Kohler-Cadmore at slip, his runs coming off 29 balls. Lewis (11) continued to keep the scoreboard ticking over with two exquisitely timed straight drives for four until he edged the ball to ‘keeper Dhillon. This left Berkswell on 59 for 3 in the 14th over. Skipper Ostler joined Mohammed Akhlaq in the middle and after a cautious start the pair soon began to play their shots. With the score now reading 98 for 3 in the 20th over a further break for rain meant that upon the restart the visitors target was 148 in 31 overs.
With Ostler in imperious form, ably supported by Akhlaq, Berkswell reached the required runs with four overs to spare Ostler remaining undefeated on 48 and Akhlaq 45 not out.
A delighted Ostler said: “After the disappointments of the last two weeks when we underperformed we improved considerably in all areas of our game. We bowled and fielded well during the Himley innings and when batting in difficult conditions, and with regular interruptions due to the weather, we kept our concentration and stayed focussed. This crucial win lifts us off the bottom of the table, puts back in the pack, and back in touch with the clubs at the top.”
Berkswell’s Tyler Packaging sponsored 1st XI take on Worcestershire outfit Barnt Green at Meeting Hose Lane on Saturday 18th May 2013 from 12 noon (weather dependent). The hosts will also be unveiling their brand new Saracens Head sponsored Man of the Match Award, which will be presented to the best performing Berkswell player at Saturday 1st XI home fixtures. The winner will receive a bottle of champagne and meal for two at the Saracens Head. Entrance to the ground on match-days is free and the bar facilities will be open.
Berkswell Cricket Club also welcomes players at all age groups and ability levels and welcomes enquiries. Interested parties should email craig.burgess.emails @ gmail.com <==remove spaces before mailing - anti-spam policy)