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Brockhampton 189ao v Berkswell 207-8: Berkswell march up the table

Berkswell's recent run of good form continued after their 18 runs margin of victory away at third placed Brockhampton

Berkswell's recent run of good form continued after their 18 runs margin of victory away at third placed Brockhampton.

Winning the toss visiting skipper Dominic Ostler had no hesitation in electing to bat on a track that looked to have plenty of runs in it, and so it seemed as openers James and Phil Neale gave Berkswell the perfect start putting on 43 in 12 overs. Phil Neale (28) was the first to depart when he was bowled by Chris Buroughs and that brought Tom Lewis to the crease.

The lightning fast outfield meant any shot that passed the fielder raced away to the boundary and James Neale (32) took full advantage, but in the 19th over with the scoreboard now reading 72, he was caught in the gully by Henry Langford off the bowling of Callum Stewart.

Warwickshire’s Tom Milnes now joined Lewis but the partnership only lasted one run, Lewis (10) being caught behind.

Jack Cornick made his way to the middle and he and Milnes put together a 71 run partnership in 15 overs with some exquisitely timed shots for four and a number of quickly taken singles.

However, the partnership was broken when Cornick (37) was caught by Stewart off the bowling of off spinner Adam Hewlett (3 for 45) .

Milnes (31) was the next batsman to lose his wicket when he was given out lbw with the score on 156 and skipper Ostler (13) soon followed when caught behind 9 runs later.

With six wickets down and only 10 overs left in the innings, the expected big score now looked very much a forlorn hope.

Unlucky Mohammed Akhlaq (10) was the next to depart when he was magnificently caught on the boundary by Stewart, the fielder somehow managing to grasp the ball passing over his head on its way for six.

This put the visitors on 181 for 7 and this was soon to be 184 for 8 as Imran Arif (10) was bowled by Hewlett.

But, in a replay of the previous week, tailenders Chris Cheslin (15 not out) and Dave Brignull (8 not out) put together another 9th wicket partnership to see out the remaining overs of the innings.

This time they accumulated an invaluable 24 runs to push Berkswell over the 200 runs mark.

With only 208 runs required for victory, and with their strong batting line up, Brockhampton must have been expecting to cruise to victory, but their reply started in the worst possible way.

A beaming Dominic Ostler said: “That was a good win. It’s not easy to get a result at Brockhampton and to come away with maximum points is a fantastic achievement. At tea I thought we were 50 runs short on that track, but it did offer the bowlers something too and we were able to make full use of it to prove again what a good bowling attack we have. To get three quick wickets at the start was crucial but when Ben Stebbings was going well it looked as though he would win the game for them, until Dave Brignull’s incredible catch changed the game.”

On Saturday Berkswell return to Meeting House Lane for a fixture against West Bromwich Dartmouth with a 12noon start.

 

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