Cricket: familiar Berkswell collapse paves way for demolition job in local derby


Trevor Jordan reports on another desperate batting collapse following a good start for Berkswell’s Tyler Packaging Ltd 1st XI and a devastating batting display for Knowle & Dorridge by Warwickshire all-rounder Stef Piolet:


Birmingham & District Premier League – Premier Division

Knowle & Dorridge 187-1 beat Berkswell 186 all out by 9 wickets


Berkswell emerged well and truly battered from their encounter away at local rivals Knowle & Dorridge losing by 9 wickets having been on the receiving end of a one man batting assault from Warwickshire’s Steffan Piolet.


Losing the toss, visiting skipper Dominic Ostler was asked to bat first and the Berkswell openers, brothers James and Phil Neale, had posted 119 runs in 31 overs and looked to be setting the base for a large Berkswell total. However, James Neale (29) top edged a ball from Neil Coley and Dominic Hendricks, running away from point took a magnificent catch over his shoulder to remove the Berkswell opener. The fall of this wicket triggered the all now too familiar Berkswell batting collapse and, apart from Phil Neale’s hard fought and well earned 67, the rest of the batting line up could only muster another 67 runs between them and the innings closed at 186 all out in the 53rd over, with Chris Davidson taking 5 for 59 for the home side.


In reply Alex Phillips and David Smith set about the Berkswell opening attack with gusto and in the fifth over the scoreboard was reading 32 when Smith (9) edged Arif to give Phil Neale a catch behind the stumps. The loss of Smith was of little importance to the home side as incoming batsman Steffan Piolet produced a memorable display of batting that had the sizeable crowd cheering in admiration. Over the course of the next 16 overs he despatched the ball to all parts of the ground, and also out of it, in a brilliant innings of 130 not out that contained 15 fours and 8 sixes and took only 67 balls. In the time it took Piolet to reach his score, Phillips added another 15 runs to his account and remained 39 not out at the end of the Knowle & Dorridge innings.


A deflated Dominic Ostler said: “We had a fantastic opportunity to post a big total and restore some confidence in our batting after the start we were given by James and Phil, but we fell apart again and this is a growing cause for concern. Steffan Piolet’s innings was incredible and I cannot fault my bowlers for their efforts, it was just one of those days when whoever was bowling at Steff would have had a job to contain him.”


On Saturday Berkswell take on the 2012 league champions Walsall at Meeting House Lane in a match starting at 12 noon.