7th Jul, 2022

CRICKET - Kenilworth Wardens settle for winning draw against Shifnal

KENILWORTH Wardens were forced to settle for a Birmingham Premier League Division One winning draw at Shifnal after a rain interruption halted their Reeve Evitts inspired charge for victory, writes Paul Smith.

The young all-rounder took 4-24 from nine penetrative overs but with 24 overs lost to the elements Shifnal claimed a share of the spoils by closing on 103 for seven after 31 overs.

A sparkling 72 from opener Jamie Harrison plus another half-century from in-form skipper Andy Leering and a useful contribution down the order from Neylan Chauhan had earlier boosted Wardens to 228 for nine from their 55 over allocation.

Theo Wylie grabbed 5-64 for the home side who took eight points from the game while the visitors climb to fourth place in the table after eight rounds of action thanks to the 16 points garnered.

Captain Andy Leering said he was very happy with his team’s performance.

“We did extremely well to get to 228 from 140-odd for seven,” he said. “Neylan did a superb job – he played with freedom which was just what the situation required.

“Jamie also played a fine knock at the top of the order. He’s in very good form at the moment and a really big score looks like it’s just round the corner for him.

“We then started brilliantly with the ball. We hadn’t given Reeve the new ball before but because of his age the length of his bowling spells are restricted and to get him the amount of rest required to bowl a second spell we had no other option once rain reduced Shifnal’s innings to 31 overs.

“When they were 28 for five we had a good chance to go on and win but they held us up with a couple of good late partnerships.”

There was no hint of what was to follow when Harrison and fellow left-hander Ollie Dandy put on 94 for the visitors’ first wicket.

However, once the teenager became Wylie’s first victim for a 77-ball 39, the visitors’ batting line-up slumped alarmingly to 146 for seven.

Wylie, who claimed the prized wicket of Ali Zaryab completed a full set of the visitors’ top four by removing Evitts then Harrison who struck eight fours and a six in his fluent 89-ball 72.

With Ethan Jamieson also grabbing 3-53, Wardens were 164 for eight when off-spinner Chauhan joined his captain at the crease.

The ninth wicket pair proceeded to add 60 crucial runs in even time with Chauhan contributing a 23-ball 27 while Leering’s excellent unbeaten 59-ball 50 contained five boundaries.

This left Shifnal chasing 228 to win and 166 for a winning draw but with the scoreboard reading 32 for five their response was in tatters by the end of the eighth over.

Evitts took full advantage of an outing with the new ball to grab three early scalps while Tommy Rex struck twice at the other end.

Wylie then made a second key contribution by digging in with the bat in the company of skipper Chris Murrall (24) to stem the flow of wickets in a useful sixth-wicket alliance worth 45.

Despite the elements also coming to Shifnal’s aid by taking time from the contest, the visitors still scented opportunity when Evitts returned to the attack to bowl Wylie for a 67-ball 36.

However, Shaun Lorimer and Mitch Stanley’s cool heads saw the hosts to the safety of a draw at 103 for seven.

Rex finished with 2-41 for Wardens while Hugo Whitlock claimed 1-15 and Christian Salisbury completed his Division One debut by bowling six tidy overs for 17 runs.

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