Kenilworth Wardens took full advantage of good fortune with the weather to move a step closer to a return to the Birmingham Premier League’s top flight, writes Paul Smith, Stumped4Words.
With the remainder of the day’s Division Two action ending in abandonments – in two cases without a ball being bowled – Wardens dodged the showers to complete a seasonal double over promotion rivals Wem through a four wicket Glasshouse Park success.
This tenth win of the campaign sees the South Warwickshire club close to within 0.98 points per match of next weekend’s table-topping round 20 opponents Halesowen.
And with the penultimate weekend of the season then bringing a trip to fourth-placed Barnards Green, Wardens’ promotion hopes now rest entirely in their own hands.
There were few indications of the drama that would unfold as Wem’s top-order batting progressed steadily to 94 for two.
Wicket-keeper Harry Chandler, who struck eight boundaries in in 97-ball 64 from the top of the visitors’ order, added 50 with Mohit Kale.
But once fit-again Andy Leering struck twice in quick succession, none of the Shropshire club’s bottom seven made any impact with the bat as eight wickets fell for the addition of only 45 runs.
With the returning Tommy Rex, who finished with 3-44, claiming the prized wicket of Chandler, Wem collapsed to 139 all out in the 32nd over.
This left Wardens chasing a rain-adjusted target of 131 from 34 overs and when Keith Bell and Ali Zaryab were both back in the pavilion with only 29 on the board the visitors had hope.
But for a second consecutive week Nick Seagar took control of the situation and steered the home side’s chase most of the way to the finish line.
The powerful opener, who struck ten fours and a six in an excellent 67-ball 60, shared in useful partnerships of 54 with Harry Johnson (28) then 46 with Henry Cullen.
This meant that despite losing three late wickets the home side completed a four wicket win in the 25th over.
Andrew Harrison (3-30) was the pick of the Wem attack.