Kotak injury takes the shine off fine all-round performance

Kenilworth Wardens’ long-serving overseas star, Sitanshu Kotak, grabbed the headlines in his club’s winning draw with Walmley, writes Paul Smith (Write Angle Media).

The former India A all-rounder made a brilliant 102 - his first Birmingham League hundred since 2006, and fifth in all matches against Walmley - before taking three wickets to stifle the visitors’ faltering victory charge.

However, it was a knee injury, later diagnosed as a medial ligament strain, which provided the day’s main talking point. Kotak was carried from the field midway through the final over after he twisted awkwardly in his follow-through and now looks likely to miss a couple of matches, including tomorrow’s top-of-the-table derby with Berkswell.

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After Dan Vernon fell for a breezy 31, Kotak joined forces with captain Scott Stenning to add 145 for the home side’s third wicket. Their partnership gathered momentum, until Wardens’ skipper edged off-spinner Paul Griffiths behind for 58.

Kotak’s 102 came from 137 balls, with 11 boundaries, as Wardens defied the best efforts of Griffiths (3-71) and left-arm spinner Marc Russell (3-56), to set a testing target of 231.

Walmley’s top order struggled against the in-form Ali Wilkinson and Warwickshire’s Tom Allin, who shared three wickets with the new ball. Chris Howell (20) then joined Chris Booth to post 56 for the fourth wicket before George Findlay (23) combined with his skipper to keep the chase alive, while adding 60 for the sixth wicket.

Findlay’s dismissal left Booth fighting a lone hand, until he fell for 93 to the excellent James Jordan, who took one for 16 from 12 overs.

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The Walmley keeper struck ten boundaries and two sixes in his 137-ball knock, but Kotak (3-54) ensured Wardens’ total was never seriously threatened as the visitors closed on 183 for eight.

James Madley’s superb captain’s innings failed to prevent Wardens 2nds falling to a three-wicket defeat in a tight game at Studley.

The opener batted through most of the Wardens’ innings, striking eight fours in his fine 71 on a difficult, slow wicket.

However, he received too little support from his colleagues as Wardens failed to see out their 50- over allocation.

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Studley seamers Andy Rhodes, John Swanick and Chris Moss shared eight wickets as a succession of Wardens batsmen fell to over-ambitious shots.

Youngsters Jack Sorrell (17) and James Ray (14) offered some support to Madley as the visitors fell 30 runs short of a competitive score.

Studley made similarly heavy weather of chasing their 146-run target before a brisk 43 from Ashley Bray took them over the line with three wickets and nine deliveries remaining.

Former Oxford University and Warwickshire star Luke Parker blazed a brilliant unbeaten 70 as Knowle & Dorridge ended Wardens’ ECB T20 hopes with a comfortable nine-wicket win.

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Parker, who stroked nine boundaries and two maximums in his 44-ball knock, added 138 for K&D’s second wicket with Al Baker, whose 55 occupied only 37 balls.

This enabled the Station Road outfit to cruise past Wardens’ 136 for seven with 35 balls in hand.

Martin Donald briefly threatened for the Kenilworth club with a 19-ball 36, while Richard Bush made a steady unbeaten 41 as medium-pacer Will Mottram took three for 26.

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