CRICKET: BERKSWELL dropped to third in the Birmingham Premier League after failing to bowl out mid-table Barnt Green on Saturday.
Dominic Ostler’s men did manage to earn a winning draw though, which keeps them in touch with league leaders Knowle and Dorridge – currently on 269 points – and second placed Shrewsbury.
With six matches remaining, Berkswell find themselves 13 points off the pace of Knowle and Dorridge at the top of the table.
Batting first, Berkswell posted an impressive 343/4 declared from 51.5 overs with major contributions coming from Chris Whittock (122), Tom Lewis (110*), and Mohammed Ahmed (57).
In reply, Barnt Green made a brisk start against a diminished Berkswell bowling attack.
Tom Milnes was playing for Derbyshire against the West Indies tourists while Ryan Sidebottom was unavailable after picking up a minor foot injury while playing for Warwickshire against Middlesex at Lord’s last week.
In their place came youngster Josh Aspinall – who was promoted from the second team.
He made the first breakthrough in the 11th over when Tom Brown (24) was bowled with the score on 52.
Darren Maddy then ran out Ethan Holmes (9) just 20 runs later before Maddy was again needed in the field when he held a catch to dismiss Jamie Harrison (37) off the bowling of Ahmed.
Matt Lamb and James Psarakis then added another 27 runs, but when Maddy bowled Lamb (15) and then had William Baker (9) given out lbw with only 119 on the scoreboard in the 44th over, the visitors shut up shop and played out the remaining 14 overs.
They added just 37 runs during that time as Psarakis (37*) and Andy Sutton (22) guided Barnt Green to a losing draw.
Darren Maddy returned with bowling figures of 27/2.
Next Saturday Berkswell will be aiming to make up ground on the leaders with an away trip to Wolverhampton.
The match at Danescourt Road starts at noon.
Picture: Manjit Narotra.