Das tops the bill in a Wem super-show
Indian overseas ace Rishav Das starred with bat and ball as Wem crushed fellow title contenders Sentinel to stay top of the Henshalls Insurance Shropshire County League.
The 28-year-old plundered his second century of the season and then picked up three wickets in a one-sided encounter.
Das’s 127, from just 121 balls, helped the leaders compile 302-5 from 50 overs.
And he then finished with figures of 3-9 as Sentinel were skittled out for just 55, to lose by 247 runs.
James Astley also claimed 4-21 and Danny Cohen 3-25 as Wem blew away their hotly-tipped visitors.
Skipper Sam Peate said: “It was a superb result and we played some excellent cricket.
“We’re in really good form at the moment and it is another game knocked off.
“At the midway point we wondered whether a score of 300 might not be enough. The outfield was very quick.
“To bowl them out for 55 really was tremendous. No-one is getting carried away. It is only one result and I expect Sentinel to be there or thereabouts at the end of the season. But we have to be pleased.”
Das, who plays First Class cricket for Assam, has wasted no time getting used to English conditions, currently averaging more than 78 with the bat and only 15 with the ball.
Peate added: “Rishav is a quality player and seems to have mastered the conditions very quickly.
“He has already got two big hundreds for us in two big games.
“We knew he was a good batsman but his off-spin has been a real bonus.
“You are never quite sure how any overseas player will adapt but he seems to really enjoy playing here.
“The big thing for us is how other players have been chipping in around him. It has been a real team effort.”
Saturday’s win was Wem’s sixth on the bounce, yet their lead at the top remains at two points after Madeley continued their own superb form with a five-wicket win at home to Frankton.
Thomas Wilkie hit 68 for the visitors, who compiled a decent total of 248-9 from 50 overs.
But the hosts proved more than ready for the race, the top three all scoring half-centuries as the target was reached with more than two overs to spare, opener Andrew Lloyd top scoring with 70.
Madeley, who are now 46 points ahead of third-placed Quatt, remain the division’s surprise package.
Yet Wem skipper Peate said: “At the start of the season few would have predicted them to be up in second at this stage.
“But having played them, we know they are a very good team, certainly the best we have played so far. They are serious contenders.”
Ludlow picked up a morale-boosting win away at Cound.
The 53-run triumph was just the second victory of the season for Ludlow, who were captained by Luke Miles in the absence of skipper Ruel Brathwaite.
Opener Sam Edwards was the star man, setting up the win with his score of 98, before chipping in with two wickets to ensure Cound fell well short of the target.
Edwards, who holed out in the final over while attempting to reach his century, helped Ludlow compile a total of 210. Iwan Morgan finished with figures of 6-37 for the hosts.
In reply, Cound lost Graham Trow early but were going along nicely before Miles removed skipper Farrell Waters (46).
Joe Williams, who finished with figures of 4-33, then tore through the middle order, with Edwards sealing the win when he had Tom Quraishi caught.
Ludlow chairman Phil Parker said: “It was a good win for us, an important one too in terms of morale as we had narrowly lost our two previous games.
“Our skipper, Ruel, has been away for the past two weeks. He is back this weekend, when we play Worfield, which will come as a boost.
“The main issue we’ve had this season has been the batting. We’ve been short of runs.
“Sam’s innings was important in that sense. It will no doubt do his confidence a lot of good and it meant we were able to post a healthy total.
“It was good to get over the line and put points on the board.”