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Shrewsbury 257-5 Berkswell 244 a/o: Berkswell fall agonisingly short

In a highly entertaining and high scoring match at Shrewsbury, the visitors nearly claimed another maximum points victory but fell agonisingly 13 runs short

In a highly entertaining and high scoring match at Shrewsbury, the visitors nearly claimed another maximum points victory but fell agonisingly 13 runs short.

Shrewsbury won the toss and elected to bat but were soon in trouble seeing opener Steve Leach (0) heading back to the pavilion after he was caught by Phil Neale off the third ball of the first over from Imran Arif.

However, this early loss made little impact as Ed Foster and Tom Cox then put together a second wicket partnership of 160 ably assisted by some mediocre Berkswell fielding.

The stand was finally broken when Arif trapped Foster (69) leg before.

New batsman Joe Leach and Cox then added another 81 runs until Cox was caught by Dave Brignull off Arif for an excellent and well made 100 runs.

With only two overs left in the home side’s innings, Arif (4-55) picked up another two wickets, Joe Leach (40) and Alex Blowfield (4), and the Shrewsbury innings closed on 257 for 5.

Berkswell opened their innings with James Neale and Chris Cheslin and the pairing had put 11 runs on the scoreboard when Cheslin (4) lost his wicket Alex Blowfield at slip juggling the ball before making the catch.

The loss of Cheslin brought Tom Lewis to the crease and he and Neale began to get the scoreboard moving. Over the course of the next 24 overs the pair accumulated 115 for the second wicket and looked to be at ease until Neale (49) was stumped by Anthony Parker off Elliot Green’s spin bowling.

Skipper Dominic Ostler joined the fray with the visitors on 133 for 3 in 31 overs.

Together they kept up the run rate until Ostler (23), having hit two successive sixes, was bowled with the scoreboard now reading 166.

More wickets fell but Lewis kept the visitors in the hunt until he was bowled by Joe Leach on 103. His departure, with the scoreboard showing 224, was the effective end of Berkswell’s chase for victory.

The remaining batsmen kept some hope alive with Arif (14) hitting a four and a huge six but the task proved too much for the tail and the visitors were eventually all out for 244.

A disappointed Ostler said: “We gave it a good go but we lost wickets at crucial times and were agonisingly close at the end from what would have been an amazing win.”

On Saturday Berkswell are away at Wolverhampton.

Elsewhere, Dorridge brushed aside the challenge of Barnards Green to maintain their position at the top of Division 1 while Moseley slumped to a loss to highflying Kenilworth Wardens.

 

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