Berkswell 299/8 Himley 312/7
“WHAT a fantastic game”, was skipper Dominic Ostler’s comment after his Berkswell side narrowly missed out on an amazing victory in a spectacular 600 run contest at Meeting House Lane.
Black Country visitors Himley were invited to bat and openers Chris Tranter and Greg Wright made rapid progress making 27 in the only fourth over before Warwickshire’s Tom Milnes trapped Tranter (13) lbw.
However, this early success was the last the home side were to have for the next 30 overs as Wright and Nathan Round took full advantage of the first batsman friendly track of the season. Round was then joined by new batsman, IPL player Rajat Bhatia, and they kept the runs coming, the visitors racking up 312 in 55 overs.
Chasing such a high target, the Berkswell innings got off to the worst possible start, losing opener James Neale (0) to the third ball of Nick Harrison’s first over, but Jack Cornick and Chris Cheslin then proceeded to add another 40 runs in 12 overs before Cheslin (21) over balanced in the crease and was stumped by Jagbir Dhillon. A mix up in calling between Tom Milnes and Cornick (19) saw the latter unfortunately run out, the third wicket going down at 54 in the 16th over.
As more wickets fell, Ostler joined Milnes and the Warwickshire past and present duo proceeded to take the game to Himley.
By the penultimate over, the partnership had added 216 runs and put the home side within 20 runs of victory. However, the loss of Milnes for a brilliant 122 off 128 balls – his innings including 12 fours and 5 sixes – put pressure on Ostler.
The start of the final over saw Berkswell still needing 17 runs to win and Ostler, appreciative of what was required, attempted another big hit only to be caught on the deep cover boundary for 114 his innings containing 10 fours and 6 sixes and coming off 99 balls. The task to win finally proved too much and, despite the gallant effort, the innings closed on 299 for 8 after 55 overs.