Berkswell 193 for 8, Dorridge 177 for 9, Winning draw for Berkswell
Berkswell remain at the top of Birmingham League Division One after this winning draw at home to fourth-placed Dorridge on Saturday.
Having won the toss, Dorridge surprisingly put Berkswell in to bat on a hard, dry pitch.
That decision soon paid off though as James Neale was dismissed without scoring and fellow opener Phil Neale soon followed for 11.
Warwickshire Academy prospect Ben Williams and Mohammed Akhlaq began to repair the damage with a solid partnership but when Akhlaq was caught for 20 and skipper Dominic Ostler followed for one shortly afterwards, Berkswell were four down with less than 100 on the board.
However, Williams was joined at the crease by Jonathan Coleman and together they restored some order.
When Williams was run out on 59, Coleman was supported by Chris Cheslin (20), Anthony McAllister (7) and Dave Brignull (7 not out) to bring Berkswell to a respectable 193 for 8 from their allotted 55 overs, with Coleman remaining unbeaten on 49. Pick of the bowlers for Dorridge was Omar Ali with 2 for 34 from his 14 overs.
Berkswell knew they had to bowl well to restrict Dorridge on what remained a good wicket and started brightly when paceman Dave Brignull removed opener Valeed Butt for just 2. Jonathan Webb (31), David Ball (29) and Tariq Mohammed (28) all made useful contributions for Dorridge and with 25 overs left the game was still open.
However Berkswell spinner Babar Khan then got to work, conceding a miserly 25 runs off his 17 overs and taking five wickets. Well supported by Brignull (3 for 37), wickets fell steadily and Berkswell were close to achieving victory. However Dorridge hung on for the draw.
Berkswell skipper Ostler said after the game: “I’m delighted that we showed some real character in an excellent team performance today. The two youngsters Ben Williams and Jon Coleman batted very maturely against some disciplined bowling and Babar Khan bowled superbly.”
On Saturday, Berkswell visit fellow promotion hopefuls Wombourne while Dorridge are away to Brockhampton.