BERKSWELL CC ensured their 100% winning start to the season continued, with a 190-run victory over Smethwick in Birmingham & District Premier Division One, ahead of visiting bottom-side Barnt Green at Cherry Hill Road tomorrow (Saturday, 12pm).
The hosts lost the toss but were asked to bat first, a decision which evidently backfired when openers Dan Mousley and Danial Chaudhry put together a first-wicket partnership of 99, before Chaudhry (38) was caught by Gurbaj Singh in the 21st over.
Mousley (68) was next to go at 120-2, before Nick James was bowled out from the first ball to bring some reprieve for the visitors.
But the top-scoring Chris Whittock (73) and Tom Lewis – who hit two sixes each, then struck up a 69-run partnership from 12 overs, before the latter was stumped by Amrinder Brar.
Former Warwickshire and Derbyshire all-rounder Tom Milnes (28) then tallied up a partnership of 67 in just seven overs, prior to being caught out by Brar.
Whittock eventually fell at 268-6 when Brar claimed a third catch of the day, but the remaining Berkswell batting order of Richard Jones, Mohammmed Ahmed, Dominic Ostler, Liam Gately and David Brignull could only add 15 further runs to the tally.
It left the hosts on 283 all out, with just two balls of the 50 overs remaining.
Smethwick’s Ali Ebad was dismissed for an lbw from the second ball delivered by Milnes – who took 4-27 from the second innings.
Then, after a single run, Smethwick’s Gurbaj Singh was run out by Milnes, leaving the visitors on 1-2.
Brar (1) was next to go, after being bowled by Milnes, whilst Omar Masood (8) followed soon after, with Smethwick struggling on 11-4.
Smethwick found some momentum following a 34-run partnership between Gurinder Singh (25) and Faisal Shahid, but the former was then caught by Chaudhry to send the visitors staring down the barrel once more.
Milnes then bowled Shahid (7), before dismissing eighth batsman Arif Mahmood after no runs from 12 balls.
Dave Brignull’s introduction into the attack proved effective, as he dismissed Sukhjit Singh (7) and Sajid Ahmedazai (13) from the eight overs that he bowled.
With Smethwick edging towards defeat, Arfan Khan was the last to go after being bowled by James, leaving them on 93 all out.