Final pair get Wardens over line after Donald leads from front

Martin Donald’s outstanding captain’s innings steered Kenilworth Wardens to a thrilling one-wicket Birmingham League Division One win against Moseley.

Udit Talati claimed two for 27 and scored a useful ten as Kenilworth Wardens completed a dramatic win over Moseley.
Udit Talati claimed two for 27 and scored a useful ten as Kenilworth Wardens completed a dramatic win over Moseley.

Donald’s superb 76 enabled his team to recover from 48 for four, to pass the hosts’ 172 for nine with 17 balls in hand.

However, despite Donald’s efforts, last pair James Jordan and Matt Hancock were still required to add 16 runs on a worn pitch before Wardens could celebrate their first league double over Moseley.

Sign up to our daily WarwickshireWorld Today newsletter

After opting to bat, the hosts made steady progress to 93 for one against Wardens’ seamers.

Simon Chase (35), Matt Pickering (31) and Warwickshire’s Ian Westwood, whose 89-ball 55 included eight boundaries, all made telling contributions.

However, the introduction of spin changed the complexion of the match as Udit Talati grabbed the prize scalp of Westwood in a fine spell of two for 27.

Sitanshu Kotak’s typically probing effort returned three for 49, while fellow slow left-armer Matt Hancock also grabbed a brace as Moseley’s last seven wickets fell for the addition of only 79 runs.

Moseley turned straight to spin and skipper Abdul Hafeez (4-36) and fellow twirler Usman Awan both caused difficulties for Wardens’ top order.

At 64 for five, a home win seemed likely before Donald was joined by wicketkeeper Eian Marillier (28) in a match-changing 56-run partnership.

The sixth-wicket pair mixed careful defence with well-timed strokes, with Donald striking six fours and two maximums in his 101-ball knock.

Both fell in quick succession to Shaukat Syed, leaving tail-enders Talati (10), Jordan and Hancock to accumulate the final 30 runs.

Former Moseley seamer Jordan, who struck three boundaries in his unbeaten 17, survived a confident appeal for a bat-pad catch with the scores level, before sealing the win which took Wardens a step closer to promotion in the 53rd over.

Wardens 2nds defied the best efforts of Evesham’s Mohammed Fahim Maan, who claimed six for 45, to claim an emphatic 95-run Division Two (South) win.

Maan’s medium-paced cutters, delivered with clever changes of pace, never allowed Wardens’ batsmen to settle.

However, some patient batting enabled the hosts to post a formidable-looking 230, after which their six-man attack dismissed Evesham in the 38th over for 135.

Harry Johnson and Mark Pidgeon (29) got the hosts off to a good start, before Andy Whitehall (36) joined Paul Henderson (48) in a useful 59-run third wicket partnership.

Adam Burch’s breezy 25, plus a rapid 18 from Sam White brought late-innings impetus.

Two wickets apiece for White and Nick Whiting reduced the visitors’ response to 42 for four before Wardens’ spinners hurried out the middle and lower order.

Leg-spinner Tom Ballinger claimed three for 31 from ten tidy overs, while left-armer Pidgeon grabbed two for 29.