Mousley returns to haunt former club as Berkswell pull well clear

Action from Leamington 2nds' home clash with Kenilworth Wardens 2nds. Pictures: Lou Smith
Action from Leamington 2nds' home clash with Kenilworth Wardens 2nds. Pictures: Lou Smith

Berkswell have opened up a 32-point lead at the top of the Birmingham League Premier Division One after heaping more misery on Kenilworth Wardens.

Berkswell were keen to bat first at Glasshouse Park and so waived their right to ask the home side to take first strike.

Action from Leamington 2nds' home clash with Kenilworth Wardens 2nds. Pictures: Lou Smith

Action from Leamington 2nds' home clash with Kenilworth Wardens 2nds. Pictures: Lou Smith

It turned out well for them as even though Wardens skipper Mark Pidgeon subsequently won the toss, he put Berkswell in.

And, on a day when runs were difficult to come by in the other five top-flight matches, the 2018 champions piled up 287 for six from their 55 overs.

Tom Milnes top-scored with an unbeaten 66, taking advantage of some solid early batting from former Warden Daniel Mousley (58), celebrating the award of a Warwickshire CCC contract, Nick James (46) and Ateeq Javid (40).

Berkswell’s already imposing total was then given a boost by Richard Jones, who smashed an unbeaten 40 from 27 balls in an unbroken seventh-wicket stand of 60 with Milnes.

Action from Leamington 2nds' home clash with Kenilworth Wardens 2nds. Pictures: Lou Smith

Action from Leamington 2nds' home clash with Kenilworth Wardens 2nds. Pictures: Lou Smith

Former Leicestershire spinner Jamie Sykes took four for 77 for Wardens who were in early trouble at 23 for two at the start of their reply.

Harry Johnson steadied the ship with 66 from 109 balls only to be dismissed by James (3-72) to leave the home side on 139 for six.

Sykes, with 35 off 19 balls, and Richard Linfield, with 27 off 15, provided some late fireworks but both were dismissed by Mousley (2-17) before Jones (3- 22) completed a fine match by cleaning up the tail as Wardens were all out for 200.

A peculiar match on Saturday saw Leamington 2nds brush aside derby rivals Kenilworth Wardens 2nds at Arlington Avenue to open up a 40-point lead at the top of Warwickshire Division Two.

Action from Leamington 2nds' home clash with Kenilworth Wardens 2nds. Pictures: Lou Smith

Action from Leamington 2nds' home clash with Kenilworth Wardens 2nds. Pictures: Lou Smith

Wardens had a mixed start with the ball, with a lot of four balls but also taking a couple of early wickets.

Leamington reached 50 in the eighth over but also lost their third wicket.

Matt Davies took two in his six-over spell, with Joe Jordan picking up one.

First-change Stuart Barr struck in his first over, deceiving Sulaiman Hussain with a slower ball to bowl him for 33 (25 balls,5 fours, 1 six).

Paul Henderson struggled at first, leaking multiple boundaries in his first couple of overs before finding his groove.

A direct hit run out from Gary Maynard, who was aiming at just one stump, ended the innings of Tom Warner to leave Leamington on 100 for five.

It was then Barr’s turn to leak runs with a few wides down the leg side going for four.

Couzens was bowled around his legs for 48 (9x4) by Anil Lohan and a couple of overs later Hawkes (23) was stumped, also off Lohan’s bowling.

Henry Mortimer was next to fall, run out by keeper Phillips when attempting a quick single and at 181 for eight Wardens felt in a comfortable position to finish Leamington off for under 225.

However, a resistant partnership from Jason Butler and Paul Lawrence put on a 69, taking the hosts past 250 before Butler finally fell, bowled by the returning Jordan for 42.

Jordan finished with a third wicket, bowling number 11 Dishant Sheth for one to end Leamington’s innings on 264, an over short of their full allocation.

Lawrence was left unbeaten, having scored 46 at nearly a run a ball, while Jordan ended with figures of three for 57.

Wardens opened the batting with Jonathan Phillips and James May in the face of economical bowling from Warner and Butler.

Warner struck first, removing May for one and Ben Rex and Phillips occupied the crease for a few overs before Phillips pulled one to mid-wicket, again off the bowling of Warner.

At 20 for two, it was not the best of starts for Wardens but with plenty of batting left hope remained.

Rex and Maynard took the score past 50 before Rex (13) fell trying to go over the top off Lawrence.

Next to fall was new-man Mukund Raghavan, bowled by Lawrence for two.

Finally, the runs started to flow for Wardens courtesy of Henderson (12) and Maynard (24).

However, a good over from Sheth dismissed them both, leaving Wardens 74 for six just short of the innings’ half-way point.

The remaining Wardens batters, with little hope of reaching the target, decided to use the time to have a net against the Leamington bowlers.

In the end, Will Chambers (20) and Joe Jordan (21 not out) were the only two of the remaining batsmen to make any notable scores, Jordan showing how benign the batting conditions were by adding 35 for the final wicket with Matt Davies (6).

Lawrence claimed the final wicket to finish with figures of three for 31 as Wardens were all out for 147 in 45.2 overs.