Match report submitted by Trevor Jordan:
Birmingham League Division 2
Berkswell 159ao v Evesham 160-5
A disappointing display all round saw Berkswell lose by 5 wickets to Evesham a result that drops the Meeting House Lane side from second to fourth in the table.
Invited to bat first, Berkswell made steady progress against the early pace of the Radford brothers, Josh and Luke, with openers James Neale and Mo Akhlaq moving the score to 34, but the introduction of Chris Cheslin into the bowling attack, in place of Luke Radford, saw the partnership broken as Cheslin claimed the wicket of Neale (12) caught at slip by Matt Snyman. In the next over, from Josh Radford, Snyman held on to his second slip catch to remove Akhlaq (11) and leave the hosts on 34 for 2 in the 11th over.
The loss of two wickets in successive overs brought together Tom Milnes and Wes Hartslief and the pairing rapidly advanced the scoring with a series of fours and quickly taken singles. With the total on 93 in the 22nd over Hartslief (28) attempted a lofted drive to the long off boundary, but the ball fell just short of the line and into the waiting hands of Paul Thomas – the entertaining innings of the South African coming off 33 balls and containing 6 fours. This wicket brought skipper Dominic Ostler (3) to the crease but just six runs later he became the fourth wicket down when he failed to make his ground after being called for an impossible quick single .
A brisk innings by Phil Neale (15) in partnership with Milnes came to an end when the young Warwickshire ‘keeper was caught behind to leave Berkswell on 125 for 5 in the 30th over. It was soon to be 146 for 8 as Khizar Zaman (9), Anthony McAllister (0) and Steven Parker (1) all lost their wickets with Zaman and Parker also being run out following impossible quick single calls.
Babar Khan (0) and Dave Brignull (1) soon came and went to leave the home side on 159 all out in the 40th over with Milnes undefeated on 59, and Chris Cheslin picking up 6 wickets for 56 runs for the vistors.
The Evesham reply started briskly but by the 7th over they had lost both openers Sundeep Patel (1) and Sam Cheshire (28) for 33 runs. They lost their 3rd wicket, Chris Cheslin (15), when the score was at 59 in the 20th over but a partnership of 83 runs between Ian Suckling (58 not out) and Matt Snyman (37) effectively won the game for the vistors and they reached the required 160 in the 43rd over.
A deflated Dominic Ostler said,
“Evesham were far better than us in every department of the game and fully deserved to win. We were possibly a bit too complacent after our win at Bridgnorth last week and perhaps went into the game expecting it to be easy to beat a side lower down the league. Some wrong decisions when batting were made that cost us wickets unnecessarily, but we know what we have to work on to improve our game all round and pick ourselves up for the Bank Holiday games away at Harborne and Tamworth”.
report by Trevor Jordan.