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Berkswell are Best after Cheslin's magnificent 7

Berkswell surged to the top of the Birmingham Cricket League Premier Division after a comprehensive 214-run victory over Black Country side Himley.

Dominic Ostler
Dominic Ostler

Berkswell surged to the top of the Birmingham Cricket League Premier Division after a comprehensive 214-run victory over Black Country side Himley.

Having won the toss, Berkswell skipper Dominic Ostler had no hesitation in electing to bat on a track made for run scoring.

And so it proved as openers James Neale and Mark Best took full advantage and plundered the lacklustre Himley bowling attack.

With the scoreboard showing 192, the visitors to the Himley Cricket Ground lost their first wicket when James Neale (92) offered a return catch to bowler Jamie Harris.

The bowler held on to the ball and in so doing brought to an end an innings that was deserving of a century.

The departure of Neale saw Nick James take up residence in the middle but, having waited with pads on for over 30 overs, his stay at the crease was short-lived as he drove a ball to Nathan Round in the covers, who held the catch with James failing to score.

Tom Lewis (five) lasted only eight balls before he, too, lost his wicket and, from their strong initial position, Berkswell had lost three wickets for the addition of only seven runs.

Thomas Milnes (18) added a brisk run-a-ball innings before losing his wicket when caught by Sergio Fedee.

The next wicket fell at 244 when Mark Best (111) was stumped by Jack Whittaker.

Best – batting with style, composure and aggression – completed his second century in a week.

Ostler and Tanveer Ahmed put on a quick 20 runs before Ostler (19) lost his wicket and then Ahmed (21) followed 11 runs later.

Phil Neale (six not out) and Chris Cheslin (17 not out) kept the run scoring going and enabled Berkswell to close their innings at the end of the 55th over on a magnificent 299 for seven.

The pick of the Himley bowlers were Greg Wright (4-54) and Jamie Harris (3-64).

The Himley reply started positively with Jamie Harris and Worcestershire’s Tom Kohler-Cadmore putting on 43 for the first wicket.

But the partnership was broken when Kohler-Cadmore (17) was caught behind by wicketkeeper Phil Neale off the pace bowling of Pakistan international Tanveer Ahmed.

Four runs later Harris (25) was also making his way back to the pavilion when Neale held another catch behind, this time off the bowling of seamer Cheslin.

The loss of Harris signalled the start of a batting collapse as the next eight wickets fell for the addition of only 38 runs, with Cheslin demolishing the batting line-up with an outstanding display of bowling blasting Himley out within 27 overs.

Taking seven consecutive wickets he finished with figures of 7-27 off nine overs.

Nick James picked up two for ten and Ahmed one for 32 as Himley were all out for 85.

Phil Neale was kept busy behind the stumps and recorded four catches.

An ecstatic Ostler said: “I sensed that the side was up for this game and so it proved.

‘‘Our openers, James Neale and Mark Best, batted brilliantly and set the foundation for the rest of us to bat with freedom.

‘‘When we bowled Himley just couldn’t cope with the onslaught from Chris Cheslin and he just blitzed them away.

‘‘This was another magnificent team display and certainly one that sets us up nicely for the top-of-the-table clash against West Bromwich Dartmouth on Saturday.”



Cathrina Hulse
Multimedia Journalist
Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
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