BERKSWELL enjoyed a fine 114-run victory at home to Leamington on the opening weekend of the new-style Graham Williamson Trophy.
As a result of the pandemic, the contest has replaced the usual Birmingham League competition.
The revamped 40-over competition places the league’s 24 member clubs in four regional groups of six. With promotion and relegation suspended for a year, each club is to play every other in the group on a home and away basis until September 19.
At the end of the ten-match programme, the four group winners will go forward to the pre-drawn semi-finals to be played on September 26 and the winners of the semi-finals will qualify for the grand final to be played at a neutral venue the following day.
Group three is an all-Warwickshire affair and contains two of the most successful sides in the league in recent years – Berkswell and Knowle & Dorridge.
Berkswell romped to a comfortable win against Leamington, but K&D slipped to a 35-run defeat against neighbours and close rivals Dorridge.
Warwickshire’s Dan Mousley led the way for Berkswell with 96 from 101 balls with able assistance from Chris Whittock (65).
Mousley and Atiq Javid began the season with an opening partnership of 84 which was followed by a second-wicket partnership of 119 between Whittock and Mousley as Berkswell reached 243-8.
Leamington skipper Jon Wigley finished with the remarkable figures of 7-41 from five overs, as Berkswell threw the bat towards the end of the innings.
Apart from Louis Glover (42no), Wigley (32) and Joe Midgley (27), Leamington misfired with the bat as they were dismissed for 129 in 32 overs.
At Dorridge, the home side completed their innings on 230-8, with 51 from Roshan Venkataraman, 39 from Gary Hawkins and 30 from Luke James. Gareth Davies took 3-34 for K&D, who finished short on 195-9.
The two highlights of their innings were 77 from Sam Reddish and 36 from Scott Stenning. Fahad Sabir (3-31) produced the best figures for Dorridge.
The third match in the group saw Moseley visit Kenilworth Wardens who won the toss and elected to field.
Moseley were all out for 193 in the 40th over, with Brinder Phagura top-scoring with 28. Rahul Trivedi (3-35) and Tommy Rex (3-50) were the pick of the bowlers for Wardens who were dismissed for 149 in response.
Rex top-scored with 45 and new signing Henry Cullen added 31. Moseley’s Usman Awan snapped up 4-45 and Phagura chipped in with 3-27 as Moseley ran out victors by 44 runs.