Dominic Ostler’s Tyler Packaging sponsored Berkswell 1st XI find themselves praying for the weather to hold off as they entertain Walmley tomorrow after a strong showing against Wombourne the previous weekend in which skipper Ostler picked up a well deserved Saracens Man of the Match award.
Birmingham & District League – Premier Division
Berkswell V Walmley – Saturday 15th June
Dominic Ostler was able to name a strong side this afternoon for tomorrow’s midday clash against Walmley in their home fixture at Meeting House Lane, but with a dubious weather forecast threatening their hopes of establishing some momentum as they approach the season’s midway point.
1) Phil Neale
2) James Neale
3) Tom Lewis
4) Tom Milnes
5) Dominic Ostler
6) Chris Cheslin
7) Imran Arif
8) Abdul Khan
9) Steven Parker
10) Aditya Rai
11) Dave Brignull
Match report from last week by Trevor Jordan
Birmingham & District Premier League – Premier Division
Berkswell 254 all out v Wombourne 185 for 9 wickets
Result: winning draw to Berkswell
“A much better performance all round”, was how skipper Dominic Ostler described his Berkswell side’s attempt to gain maximum points at home against south Staffordshire outfit Wombourne.
Leading from the front, Ostler hit a magnificent 94 off only eighty five balls, his innings including 10 fours and 4 sixes, as the home side notched up an impressive 254 all out. The Berkswell innings started with an eleven overs first wicket stand of 63 between the Neale brothers before James was the first to depart when caught behind by Mark Fisher for 29, and he was soon followed back to the pavilion when Phil (26) was out seven runs later, both wickets falling to Mike Hill. Tom Lewis, looking in fine form once again, and Jack Cornick had added another 30 runs to the total when Cornick (5) was trapped LBW by James Biddulph in the 22nd over. The loss of the third wicket brought Ostler to the crease and he and Lewis pushed the score on to 148 before Lewis (43) was adjudged LBW off the bowling of Ed Denham. Mohammed Akhlaq’s stay in the middle lasted only four balls as he also fell victim to Denham giving a simple catch behind without troubling the scorers.
With five wickets now down in the 35th over Ostler and Chris Cheslin slowed down the loss of wickets by taking only 22 runs from the next eight overs before Ostler decided to speed things up taking 16 runs off a Biddulph over with two huge sixes despatched with ease into the Kenilworth Road. Cheslin (20) also kept the scoreboard ticking over but in a more restrained way with a series of singles before eventually falling to Denham with the score on 206. Imran Arif now partnered Ostler and the pair rapidly accelerated the scoring taking 42 runs from the next 3 overs before Ostler (94) was out in the 54th over caught by Hill off the pace bowling of Richard Jones. With the tailenders now throwing the bat for the last few balls of the innings it was inevitable that wickets would fall and Arif (12), Jon Coleman (4) and Aditya Rai (0) all became victims of Jones and Mike Hill and Berkwell were eventually all out with three balls of the innings remaining.
Wombourne started their reply cautiously against the pace bowling of Arif and the medium pace swing bowling of Cheslin, but in the third over, with the scoreboard showing 6 runs, the home side took their first wicket when Fisher (2) edged the ball to Ostler at slip to give Arif his first wicket of the day. Steve Birch and Mike Hill then dug deep for the next 19 overs and put together a partnership of 66 before Hill (16) was bowled by Rai, and he was quickly followed by Biddulph (2) also bowled by Rai to leave the visitors on 78 for 3. With the visitors showing little sign of making any real attempt to chase down the runs for victory, the game meandered along although Berkswell did pick up three more wickets over the course of the next 8 overs leaving Wombourne on 127 for 6 at the end of the 38th over. Birch and Denham added another 56 runs in the next 14 overs and the match looked to be ending in stalemate, but with just 3 overs left Arif suddenly found his direction and had Denham (22) given out LBW in the 53rd over and in the final over of the game Tom Meek (0) also given out LBW, and he then bowled Ben Hudson (0) first ball. Despite a confident LBW appeal last man Dewi Jones survived the remaining two balls of the innings and Wombourne held on to finish on 185 for 9, with opener Birch still there on 90 not out. For Berkswell Arif finished with 4 for 50 and Rai 4 for 51.
A pleased Dominic Ostler said: “That was a much better performance from us all round and has restored the confidence level after the disappointments of the last couple of weeks when we let things slip away from us. We batted sensibly and bowled well too and stuck at it when things didn’t seem to be going our way. To almost clinch a victory at the end in such a dramatic way shows the fighting spirit there is in the side and if we continue like this we’ll make an impact on the league.”
On Saturday 15th June Berkswell are at home again when they play Walmley. The match starts at 12 noon.