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Best hits a ton but Berkswell are frustrated

Berkswell took the lion's share of the points in a high-scoring winning draw against Kidderminster Victoria.

Berkswell took the lion’s share of the points in a high-scoring winning draw against Kidderminster Victoria to move back into second place in the Birmingham League Premier Division.

Put in to bat the Berkswell openers, James Neale and Mark Best, took seven overs to reach double figures.

However, as the shine began to fade from the ball the runs started to come and by the 19th over, when Neale (21) was caught in the gully by Andrew Siwiki off the bowling of Jonathan Wright, 58 runs had been amassed.

Nick James replaced Neale and for the next 22 overs runs came freely.

Both batsmen reached their 50s with Best’s coming off 69 balls and James’ off 62.

James (56) was the next wicket to fall – in the 41st over with the score on 168 and Tom Milnes and made a quick 20 before also losing his wicket to Wright with the score on 206.

While the wickets were falling at the other end, Best continued to put bat to ball with style and control and reached his maiden century for Berkswell.

Tanvir Ahmed came and went before Best (114) was finally bowled by Wright – the fifth wicket to fall.

Skipper Dominic Ostler then took over the run- scoring mantle with a series of fours and sixes on his way to an unbeaten 48 as the Berkswell innings finally closed on 289 for six.

Wright finished with figures of 5 for 82 off 17 overs.

Kidderminster opened with Henry Wright and Andy Kimberlin but they were soon back in the pavilion unable to cope with the fired up pace of Tom Milnes.

After his long lay-off through injury Milnes looked eager to perform and generated considerable pace and bounce that soon had Wright (0) caught in the gully by Best, and Kimberlin (1) caught at slip by James.

A 39 run partnership between Michael Hill and Craig Wood came to an end when Wood (23) was caught by Ostler at slip from an Ahmed delivery.

Zac Turley (32) was the next wicket to fall when he was brilliantly caught by Milnes at short extra cover off the slow left-arm bowling of Mohammed Ahmed to leave the visitors on 88 for 4 by the 20th over.

The fifth wicket came in the 34th over when Connor Smith (9) flashed hard at a ball from Milnes, the ball flying at great pace to Ostler at slip who, in his customary way, made the catch look easy.

The skipper than had success with the ball claiming the wicket of Siwiki (41) lbw in the 48th over.

But this was the last success Berkswell were to have and the game petered out to a draw with Hill finishing up 91 not out, and Milnes returning figures of three for 20 from six overs as Kidderminster finished on 233-6.

Ostler was disappointed that only a winning draw had been achieved but was pleased by the way the side had batted and delighted that Best had notched up his first ton for the club, and that Milnes looked to be back bowling at his best.

 

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