Wardens and Maher take out their Saturday frustrations on Leamington
Blake Maher's maiden Birmingham Premier League hundred proved in vain as a storm washed out Kenilworth Wardens' hopes of forcing a win at Knowle & Dorridge, writes Paul Smith.
The 21-year-old had blasted an unbeaten 102 when the rain came with the visitors handily placed at 231 for seven with five of their 50 overs remaining.
When play resumed, K&D began their Duckworth Lewis-reduced chase, only for a further downpour to end proceedings with the hosts’ response at 30 for two in the fifth over.
Opener Ethan Brookes and former Warwickshire batsman Jonathan Webb both fell to Maher who, with his tail up, produced a brisk opening burst.
Home skipper Sam Reddish had then got his innings away to a breezy start when the rain came with the match well poised.
Maher also played a key role in Wardens’ comfortable nine-wicket win over already-relegated Leamington on Monday.
He reduced Spa to 34 for three by removing their top order in a fine new-ball spell which returned three for 32, after which the basement boys limped to 129 all out in 39.2 overs.
Basit Zaman (65 not out) and Harry Johnson (48 not out) then made short work of steering the hosts to victory in the 25th over with an unbroken 115-run second-wicket stand.
After Maher’s initial insertion, only middle-order duo Jonny Wigley (23) and experienced skipper Lee Hopkins (35) made much headway against a steady bowling display from Wardens’ six-man attack.
Nathan Edwards, Matt Hacock and Zaman claimed two wickets apiece to ensure the visitors never recovered from their faltering start.
After the interval, Nick Seager fell to Matt Davison (1-15) for eight, after which the in-form Johnson and Zaman picked off the required runs with a minimum of fuss.
Zaman’s unbeaten 59-ball 65 included six fours and three sixes, while Johnson was content to play the anchor role with a 75-ball unbeaten 48.
Kenilworth Wardens 2nds were in an immensely strong position in their Birmingham League Division One match against Wellington 2nds on Saturday before the rain came and put an end to the game 36 overs in.
Wardens dominated from the start as opening bowler Paul Henderson (9-1-21-2) set the tone for the innings, dismissing skipper Chris Shepherd for a duck.
Regular wickets continued to fall throughout the innings as impressive performances from Ben Rex (9-0-18-3) and Nathan Edwards (8-2-18-1) helped reduce Wellington to 85 for seven before play was called to a halt due to the wet weather.
Wardens 3rds got off to a shaky start in their Cotswold Hills Division One match at home to Kineton before the game again curtailed by the weather.
Batting first, Wardens lost opener Fred Rex very early on for just four.
Top-scorer Lewis Baker (21) was next to be dismissed before Tom Ballinger was out without scoring.
Ibrahim Afzal (7 not out) and Jack Vickery (10 not out) then took Wardens through to 49 for three in the 17th over when the rain became too heavy.
In Division Six, Kineton reached 38 without loss from ten overs against Wardens 4ths before the match was called off.