Solid all-round performance from Leamington helps lift them to fourth

Leamington 3rds' Will Mobberley claims the wicket of Kineton's Nick Briggs. Pictures: Morris Troughton
Leamington 3rds' Will Mobberley claims the wicket of Kineton's Nick Briggs. Pictures: Morris Troughton

Leamington moved into fourth in Birmingham League Division One following a comfortable home victory over Halesowen.

The visitors batted first having won the toss and made an excellent start through Ed Kilbee and Jamie Harris.

Mobberley clean bowls Kineton's Rory Geary-Heaton.

Mobberley clean bowls Kineton's Rory Geary-Heaton.

The opening stand had reached 61 before William Mashinghe had Kilbee caught at the wicket by Chris Calcott for 24.

The same combination accounted for former Dutch cap Alex Kervezee for just five and Spa skipper Jon Wigley then bowled Hassan Qaumi for a duck to leave Halesowen on 70 for three.

Wicketkeeper Wes Griffiths made just ten before nicking Wigley to Calcott but Halesowen regrouped through Harris and Masharraf Shazad.

They added 85 for the sixth wicket in a patient fashion as Leamington’s bowlers were able to keep the run rate in check.

Harris had reached 89 when he picked out Tom Warner off the bowling of Nabeel Asghar, leaving Shazad with the tail.

He finished unbeaten on 45 as Halesowen closed on 203 for seven from their 55 overs.

Leamington made their usual poor start, losing three wickets, all to opening bowler Eddie Rhodes, and at 45 for three Halesowen were well in contention.

However, Leamington’s middle order came to the rescue.

Waqar Ahmed and Mashinghe added 84 for the fourth wicket before Ahmed was adjudged lbw for 49.

Mashinghe was then joined by Sulaiman Hussain and they compiled 55 for the fifth wicket which was ended when Mashinghe was caught for a well-crafted 70.

Hussain saw Leamington past the winning post, though, ending undefeated on 48 at better than a run-a-ball, with the Spa men reaching 204 with four wickets and almost four overs in hand.

Leamington’s 2nds earned a six-wicket win at Birmingham side Attock thanks to a tidy bowling display and a well-paced response.

Attock chose to bat first on a dry wicket which offered help to the bowlers throughout.

The early batsmen showed little patience and although a number of expansive shots were played, wickets fell steadily.

The in-form Paul Lawrence picked up from the previous week’s display, earning four wickets in a testing opening spell as Attock stumbled to 36 for five.

The middle-order pair of Zahoor Azam and keeper Qasim Tanvir batted with greater circumspection, adding 76 for the sixth wicket until Zahoor fell lbw to Nick Couzens for 42.

Qasim followed, picking out Lawrence on the long-off boundary for a patient 28, the first of two wickets for James Silk.

Lawrence returned to remove the obdurate Adam Mahmood for 24, with the batsmen skying a full toss to give the Leamington seamer the fine figures of five for 26 as Attock were bowled out for 152 in the 45th over.

In response, Max Lion played a rasping drive to the fence but was adjudged leg-before without further addition.

Steve Dyer and Dave Hawkes played patiently against testing bowling on a pitch with extravagant bounce on occasion, before Dyer skied Mahmood for 17.

A further wicket brought Rob Williams to the crease and with the equally experienced Hawkes they made steady progress towards the target.

Hawkes had moved comfortably to 55 when he was bowled, ending a partnership of 53.

He was replaced by Spa skipper and son Jack and he and Williams saw Leamington home in some comfort.

A flurry of boundaries earned Williams an undefeated 51 as Leamington eased to 153 for four with plenty of overs in hand.

Leamington 3rds leapfrogged visitors Kineton into third place in Division One of the Cotswold Hills League thanks to a 39-run win.

Cam Mitchell scored 29 at the top of the order and Sam Forster made 21 before Ibby Afzal and skipper David Lord (54) shared in a pivotal fifth-wicket stand of 100.

In his first senior game for Leamington, Afzal ended on 45 not out as Leamington closed on 195 for six.

Dawber was Kineton’s most successful bowler with three for 28.

Leamington’s opening bowlers Dan McCarthy (2-17) and Will Mobberley proved too much for Kineton, reducing them to 40 for four.

Kineton rallied from 72 for six but when James Lloyd fell to the returning Mobberley (5-42) for 35, Kineton’s tail failed to wag and they were bowled out for 154.

Leamington 4ths remain at the top of Cotswold Hills Division Three despite a disappointing first defeat of the season at Mickleton.

The hosts mustered a competitive 187 for four on a difficult pitch thanks largely to an unbeaten 96 from George Wilcock.

Leamington never recovered from a flurry of early wickets and although Paul Bennett batted through for 67, they were never in the hunt and they limped to 136 for eight in reply.