SCOTT FRISWELL marked his seasonal debut with a fine unbeaten 70 but it was not enough to prevent Bedworth slipping to a 63-run Warwickshire Premier League home defeat at the hands of Walmley, writes Paul Smith.
Max Page also made a half-century for a home side missing more than half a team of regular starters, but with Walmley seamer Jamie Hall grabbing 4-39 Bedworth were bowled out in the 49th over for 215.
The visitors’ earlier 278 for eight owed much to a brilliant 88 from in-form Pakistani pro Sarmad Bhatti while Sachin Dubb also made 51. Acting skipper Indy Nandra took 3-42 for the Miners’ Welfare Park club.
Walmley climb above Bedworth who are now in sixth place in the table following seven rounds of action.
“It was a frustrating day,” Nandra said. “We did very well to keep them below 300 thanks to some good bowling and fielding in the later stages of their innings but then we lost too many wickets in the early stages of our response.
“If we had managed to lay a better platform we would have gone really close because while Scott and Juggy Nandra were together we had them under pressure on a good pitch with a fast outfield.
“Scott played superbly; he hadn’t picked up his bat since last August and was helping us out due to a few unavailabilities. He batted a bit lower in the order than he usually would but really batted well.”
Another fine opening spell from Waqar Dad (2-44) saw Bedworth reduce the visitors to 77 for three in the opening stages with the in-form James Bristow (28) amongst those back in the pavilion.
This brought fourth-wicket pair Dubb and Bhatti together and they went on to add 98 runs in a fluent partnership which wrested control away from the home side.
Dubb struck eight boundaries in his 65-ball 51, but it was the prolific Bhatti whose brilliant 81-ball 88 featured a six and nine fours, that really caught the eye.
In the closing stages, the Pakistani ace was joined by his skipper Jono Newis who blasted a 30-ball 45 which boosted Walmley beyond 250.
Hall was then quickly into his stride with the ball, claiming three early wickets at the start of the home response. However young opener Page stood firm to make a typically fluent 67-ball 52 containing seven fours and a six before he became the Walmley seamer’s fourth victim.
Juggy Nandra’s useful 42 delayed the visitors’ victory charge, and when he was joined by Friswell the home chase looked threatening. The sixth-wicket pair added 56 in even time before Kiefer Woods’ dismissal of Nandra provided the trigger for a clatter of lower-order wickets.
With Newis returning to snare two late victims, Bedworth’s last five batters fell for 53, most of which came from the bat of Friswell whose excellent unbeaten 70 was made from 65 balls with 11 fours and two sixes. As a result the hosts were 11 deliveries away from securing a draw when Bhatti bowled Ash Cutts to seal maximum points for Walmley.
Bedworth host Coventry in a mouth-watering local derby next Saturday.
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