Best foot forward in Berkswell bid for top; BIRMINGHAM LEAGUE.
BERKSWE KSWE KSW LL kept pace at the head of the Premier Division when they claimed the lion's share of the points from a home draw against Kidderminster VicV -toria.
But the villagers were disappointed to miss out on the win that would have nudged them closer to West Bromwich Dartmouth after Mark Best's [euro]rst century for the club had led them to a commanding 289-6 from their 55 overs.
Best was in brilliant form, pick-pick ing o 14 fours and a six to accumulate his 114 o 145 deliveries. He put on 58 with opening partner James Neale (21) before adding 110 with Nick James who cracked three fours and two sixes in his 56.
Skipper Dominic Ostler weighed in with an undefeated 48 from just 23 balls, [euro]ring four fours and three sixes in the process and denting the [euro]nal analysis of Jonathan Wright who logged 17-1-82-5. Tom Milnes, who contributed T a lively 20, saw o both openers to reduce Kidderminster to 3-2 in the fourth over and a couple of excellent slip catches by Ostler and Milnes's brilliant take at short extra cover reduced them to 124-5. No.3 Michael Hill proved the stumbling block, however, as he maintained his discipline for 151 balls to [euro]nish undefeated on 91 (scoring nine boundaries and a six in the process) to coax the visitors to 233-6. Andrew Siwicki (41) and Ryan Derrick (28) kept R him company for the second half of the innings while Milnes [euro]nished with [euro]gures of 6-1-20-3. Kenilworth Wardens are within striking distance of top spot after collecting a six-wicket win at Walsall.
e home side elected to bat but were promptly bowled out for 118 in 38.4 overs - a tally that would have been thinner but for an opening stand of 31 - Umar Amin and Mike Hingley both notching 14 - and the back-tothe-wall de[euro]ance of No.3 Alex McChristie who faced 92 deliveries to [euro]nish unbeaten on 38.
Dan Wood did the initial damage, cashing in on the swingfriendly conditions to claim 17-3-56-5 before Sitanshu Kotak ripped through the tail with 7.4-1-9-4 - wicket-keeper Eian Marillier playing his part with four catches.
Wardens lost Nick Seager early and slipped to 24-2 when Keith Bell followed but Scott Stenning (46) and Kotak (30) lifted them to 83-3 and skipper Martin Donald's unbeaten 20 saw them home at 120-4 in 38.1 overs.
Leamington Spa are 45 points clear at the head of Division Two T after seeing o Water Orton by six wickets.
e visitors chose to bat and posted an opening stand of 62 - Matthew Dawes the dominant partner with eight fours in his run-a-ball 43 while Sukhjit Singh needed 56 deliveries to reach 22.
But once they had fallen in rapid succession Walsall nosedived to 66-5 and they were duly dismissed for121 in 32 overs - Lesroy Irish's 11 not out the only other double-[euro]gure score as Grant ornton (3-35) supplemented Nabeel Asghar's 11-1-17-5 assault.
Leamington lost Shahbaz Alam in the [euro]rst over but Jonathan Wigley's 43 put them in control and an unbroken stand of 41 between Lee Hopkins (25) and Max Webber (21) saw them home at 124-4 in 27.4 overs.
Coventry & North Warwick-orth Warwickshire are third after crushing Whitchurch by 128 runs, Luke reeves and skipper Daniel Ver V -non both falling agonisingly short of three [euro]gures.
e day didn't start well for C&NW as, having decided to bat, they lost Stephen French and Chris Ngoepe for ducks.
But that signalled a third-wick-wick et stand of 93 between Reeves and Matthew Pickering (35) and Reeves carried on in breathtak-eeves breathtaking form to smash seven fours and seven sixes in a 71-ball 98 that boosted the tally to 163 before he was the fourth man out.
Vernon then took charge, pickthen took charge, pickV -ernon pick-ing o [euro]ve fours and three sixes from 90 balls and putting on 91 with Tony Bristow (40) before he T was dismissed for 97 in a Coventry total of 323-6. Whitchurch never looked capable of matching that target - despite the best eorts of Behram Ali (42), Ijaz Yousaf (63) and Y Zafran Ali (38) - and they were dismissed for 195 in 43.1 overs with Pum Purewal, Vic Clements V and Chris Ngoepe bagging two wickets apiece to supplement Jaspal Phull's decisive 10-6-26-3 haul.
Stratford-upon-Avon maintained their impressive Division ree form with a 27-run decision against Astwood Bank. It was hard going for the home batsmen as Dan Protherough laboured for 74 balls to score his [euro]ve while fellow opener Rob West faced 43 deliveries for his 43.
Jonathan Summers (17-4-29-4) continued to make inroads but Dexter Purser wrested some control as he notched eight fours in his 92-ball 53 and Ben Pigott's unbeaten 40 eased them to a total of 175-7 from their 55 overs.
Astwood openers Stephen Adshead (19) and Alex Robinson (24) looked set for the long haul - the latter resisting for 90 deliveries - but Tom Grundy (15-6-37-T 4) and Mike Brown (15.5-4-32-3) stuck to their guns with admirable tenacity and despite 32 from Andrzej Jagielski the visitors folded on 148 in 51.5 overs.
Berkswell skipper |Dominic Ostler en route to his unbeaten 48. Below, centurion Mark Best hoists another boundary.
Berkswell's Mark Best is comprehensively bowled but |departs with 114 runs to his name and the team total a healthy 235-5. He was followed by Alex Unsworth, last man out as Berkswell scored 289-6 in their 55 overs. PICTURES:ROBIN BIDGOODY