21st Sep, 2018

Ostler thrilled as Berkswell go top

BERKSWELL skipper Dominic Ostler was all smiles after his side moved to the top of the Birmingham League Premier Division with a two-wicket victory over Wolverhampton.

Berkswell capitalised on Shrewsbury’s defeat against Smethwick on Saturday to take over at the top as the halfway stage approaches.

Having won the toss, Wolverhampton chose to bat and openers Tom Fell and Jack Stanley made steady progress, putting together a 48-run partnership.

However, the introduction of Ateeq Javid (5-46) paid dividends as he removed Worcestershire’s Fell (37) before tearing through the middle and lower order to remove the Black Country hosts for 171.

Javid then led by example with the bat, finishing unbeaten on 76 off 153 balls as he forged a vital partnership with No 10 batsman Liam Gately (29no) to guide Berkswell to 172-8.

“It was a real battle and when we were at around 120-7 it looked like we were not the favourites to get the win,” said Ostler.

“But a fantastic innings between Ateeq and Liam got us over the line which was really pleasing.

“I was especially chuffed for Ateeq who did superbly with the bat and ball to inspire us to the victory.

“If you want to be in contention to win titles you have to grind out results and we did exactly that.”

Berkswell now turn their attentions to Saturday’s home game against high-flying Smethwick.

The newly-promoted side find themselves third in the table after ten games and are going to be full of confidence after claiming a six-wicket victory over Shrewsbury at the weekend.

“We don’t know too much about Smethwick so it is a step into the unknown,” said Ostler.

“We know they have a strong squad but so do we and as the game is at our place we are confident we can keep our momentum going.

“At the moment we are still not quite firing on all cylinders and there’s room for improvement so I’d like to see if we can bring an extra ten or 20 per cent to the party on Saturday.”

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