Second-placed Shrewsbury are pushed all the way by Wardens

Prerak Mankad hit 45 and took two wickets as Kenilworth Wardens were just edged out by title-chasing Shrewsbury. Picture: Morris Troughton
Prerak Mankad hit 45 and took two wickets as Kenilworth Wardens were just edged out by title-chasing Shrewsbury. Picture: Morris Troughton

Second-placed Shrewsbury got home with two balls to spare in a Duckworth-Lewis decided contest at Kenilworth Wardens which saw two rain interruptions play a vital part.

Shrewsbury welcomed quick bowlers Ed Barnard and George Panayi back to their side, both of whom had both been on T20 duty with their respective counties, Worcestershire and Warwickshire.

After being invited to bat, Wardens lost their first wicket on 33 when Scott Stenning (12) was run out trying to pinch a single.

Basit Zaman made a quickfire 19 (4x4) and, following a rain interruption, Prerak Mankad joined Harry Johnson in a third-wicket partnership of 70.

Despite the quality of the Shrewsbury attack, Wardens progressed relative easily, reaching 134 before Johnson was caught on the boundary by Panayi for a very impressive 66 which included eight fours.

It was the introduction into the attack of Ed Foster that was to do the damage, with the Shrewsbury captain bowling eight overs for 23 and claiming three wickets, including Mankad (45) and Martin Donald (27).

The Wardens innings closed on 224 for eight, with Kamran Anwar hitting a lusty 34 in the final overs, including two massive sixes over mid-wicket.

Shrewsbury’s reply got off to a steady, uneventful start and had reached 36 in the tenth over when the players were sent to the pavilion by a sharp shower.

This resulted in the away team’s target being reduced to 209 off 40 overs.

However, first ball after the resumption Will Parton (25) was caught behind by Nick Sale off Mankad and two overs later Kayham Khan caught and bowled Oliver Westbury (18) with the score on 51.

Foster then joined Ed Barnard and rescued the innings with a no-frills 48.

The introduction of slow bowler Rahul Trivedi (2-30 off 8) put the brakes on the scoring and his removal of Barnard (28) and Foster left the visitors needing 55 off eight overs.

Two interventions by Mankad in the next seven balls left Shrewsbury reeling. First he caught Tim Ward (28) with a brilliant running diving catch at mid-wicket and then with the first ball of his next over bowled Matthew Swift to leave them 157 for six.

But the visitors were not to be denied, with spirited hitting by Rob Foster (30 including three maximums) and Panayi seeing the away team over the line in the 40th over.

n Berkswell remain third in the Birmingham League Premier Division after a 77-run win at Wolverhampton.

The visitors totalled 264 before dismissing their hosts for 187 in reply.

Chris Whittock (59), Alex Hepburn (54) and Darren Maddy (50) scored half-centuries for Berkswell, with Johannes Bothma (3-30) and Ben Twohig (3-52) the best bowlers for Wolverhampton.

Zen Malik scored 54 for the home side and Nick James took four for 54 for Berkswell who trail leaders Knowle & Dorridge by 13 points.