Shifnal give survival hopes a huge boost
Former Leicestershire and Shropshire paceman Alex Wyatt produced a sensational display to boost Shifnal’s hopes of survival in the Birmingham League.
Wyatt claimed five wickets as his side romped to a nine-wicket success at Knowle & Dorridge in Premier Division One.
Delighted skipper Chris Murrall said: “It was our best performance in a long time. The opening bowlers set the tone and we just carried on from there.”
After winning the toss and opting to bowl, Wyatt removed the top three batsman in a match reduced to 40 overs a side because of rain.
A further interruption reduced that to 36 overs, but there was no respite for the home batsmen with Wyatt ably assisted by Jack Twigger.
Knowle & Dorridge, who had started the day in third place, were in all sorts of trouble after being reduced to 56-8.
Jack Grundy hit gritty 47 but the hosts were all out for 119 with Wyatt finishing with 5-22 and Twigger 2-24.
Openers Steve Leach and Jack Edwards put on 83 for the first wicket as Shifnal cruised to their victory target, Leach finishing unbeaten on 56 as the visitors got home inside 23 overs.
George Garrett was unbeaten on 44 as Shrewsbury scored 149-9 against Walsall, helped by an unbeaten 44 from George Garrett, in a game reduced to 32 overs.
Paul Byrne took 3-17 for the home side, who, despite a slow start to their response, eased to an eight-wicket win with 10 balls to spare. Opener Shoaib Akhtar carried his bat for a patient 60 from 89 balls but the impetus for the win was provided by James Middleton who finished unbeaten on 40 from 28 balls.
Oswestry overcame a freak injury to Glamorgan all-rounder Roman Walker to beat Himley and boost their chances of promotion from Premier Division Two. The Welshman was unable to bowl after hurting himself while batting, but it mattered not as the visitors recorded a 27-run success.
Opener Warrick Fynn top scored with 73 for Oswestry, who made 176-7 from their 39 overs, with Josh Darley contributing a battling 39 off 90 balls in difficult conditions. Overseas star Lahiru Samarakoon then did the damage with the new ball with three early wickets to leave Himley struggling on 35-4.
A stand of 62 for the fifth wicket put the game back in the balance before Joe Carrasco broke the partnership when he had Chris Boroughs leg before for 22.
Himley’s hopes rested on Nipun Karunanayake but his impressive innings ended on 57 when he miscued a pull off Carrasco straight to Alex Huxkey.
Samarakoon returned to mop up the tail, finishing with 6-23, as the home side were dismissed for 149. Oswestry captain Dean Suter said: “Roman dived back in his crease after being sent back but was run out and hurt his rib, so it was a real double whammy.”
“That was unfortunate but Larry is bowling tremendously and the tail-enders don’t stand a chance with him bowling 80mph yorkers.
“We were fortunate they were missing one or two key players, including their captain, but we can only beat what’s in front of us and it’s great to be in the mix going into the final few games.”
Ben Lees hit his highest score of the season as Bridgnorth defeated Wolverhampton to take another step closer to achievingsafety.
Lees, who shared in a third-wicket stand of 85 with Jean-Pierre Erasmus, made 89 off 114 balls as the home side posted 251-9 from their 47 overs at Cricket Meadow.
Worcestershire batsman Tom Fell threatened to help Wolverhampton to their target but his dismissal for 111 when he hit his own wicket swung the game in Bridgnorth’s favour, Adam Quiney taking 3-39.
Skipper Sam Whitney, who finished with figures of 4-48, said: “It was a brilliant innings from Ben and a very good day for us with (second bottom) Tamworth losing as well.
“I’m happy for him because the talent is there but he hasn’t shown it too much this year. Now he knows he can do it.”