BLISTERING displays from former Warwickshire all-rounders Grant Thornton and Nick James condemned Knowle & Dorridge to an eight-wicket Birmingham Premier League Division One defeat at Berkswell.
After winning the toss, the hosts took full advantage of bowler-friendly conditions to see off their local rivals in 42.5 overs for 103, with Thornton claiming 5-36 from 12 pacy overs.
And after Ari Karvelas raised K&D’s hopes with two early scalps James then smashed a ferocious unbeaten 42-ball 72 which raced the title favourites to the finish line.
“It was a bad toss to lose but that wasn’t the be-all and end-all,” visiting captain Jack Grundy said.
“They bowled really well giving us nothing to get away and as a result we never got into a rhythm with the bat.
“Their attack is pretty relentless compared to most as even when you get past the opening bowlers the quality doesn’t drop and they give you nothing.
“When we got them to 10 for two with two key batters out we thought we had a chance but Nick James then batted unbelievably well.
“It was like he was on a different pitch to everyone else and it only took a few overs of that for him to take the game away from us.”
After the early loss of the in-form Alex Phillips, Hamza Sheikh and James Middleton took K&D’s innings to the relative comfort of 40 for one.
However, the introduction of Thornton quickly swung events in Berkswell’s favour as six wickets fell for the addition of 23 runs.
Grundy was then joined by Karvelas – who top-scored with 21 – in a battling eighth-wicket partnership, only for the return of Awais Mohammed (3-22) to close the innings out.
The visitors’ South African pro then swapped bat for ball and immediately claimed the prize wickets of in-form ex-Bear Ateeq Javid and current Edgbaston staffer Dan Mousley with only ten on the board.
However, in the company of Chris Whittock (22no), Berkswell skipper James quickly slammed the door on K&D’s hopes.
The left-hander found the boundary rope six times and cleared it on a further five occasions as the hosts completed an eight-wicket win in the 20th over.
K&D, who lie third, head to second-placed Kidderminster on Saturday.
“We’re back to coloured kit and win-lose games now with six games remaining,” Grundy added.