by Paul Smith (www.Stumped4Words.com)
Despite suffering more than most from the May deluge, Kenilworth Wardens captain Harry Johnson believes his team are well placed to maintain their Birmingham Premier League Division Two challenge.
The Glasshouse Park club have been frustrated by the weather on three consecutive Saturdays as scheduled clashes with Wolverhampton, Dorridge and Bromsgrove all failed to see a ball bowled.
By contrast table-toppers Wem and much-fancied Halesowen both completed games in two of the last three rounds and as a result Wardens have slipped from joint top to fourth, 18 points behind the Shropshire-based leaders.
“We can’t control the weather,” he said, “and prior to the interruption we had a 100 per cent record from our opening three games so I have to be happy.
“In particular it’s been great to see different people stepping up and taking responsibility with both bat and ball to get us over the line during those three wins.
“Our pro Ali Zaryab has made an excellent start with bat and ball as befits someone with his pedigree in Pakistani first-class cricket and the Under 19 World Cup.
“Perhaps the biggest frustration for us is that our new signing George Scrimshaw has twice been kitted up to make his Wardens debut but is yet to bowl a ball.
“He really impressed Derbyshire in the early weeks of the season and is desperate to get started with us.”
Midlands cricket’s top two divisions switched formats last weekend with a return to 55-over games with a draw. This also brought a return to white kit and a red ball which Johnson believes suits his team.
“Obviously the red ball poses a different challenge for both bowlers and batters and tends to lend itself to a more attritional style of cricket,” he said.
“It’s really important that we adapt quickly and hit the ground running to maintain our momentum from the opening weeks.
“From a selection perspective with bowlers able to deliver 17 overs we may look to lengthen our batting line up as opposed to going into games with six bowlers.”