An exceptional display of leg-spin bowling by Elliott Green clinched the 2010 Premier Division title for Shrewsbury on a day of extraordinary twists and turns which left Walmley and Kenilworth Wardens in the relegation zone.
In a match reduced to 53 overs per side, Ed Foster and Joe Leach, both, scored 58, as Shrewsbury reached 196 for six at the close of their innings. Mark Mansell picked up three wickets for Kiddi, who looked favourites to take the title, themselves, when they reached 93 for one by the end of the 26th over. At that point, a heavy shower drove the players from the field and the home side’s innings was reduced to 47 overs. Enter Mr Green, who had, already, snapped up the wicket of Matt Pardoe (42).
He proceeded to turn the game in Shrewsbury’s favour, finishing with 9 for 77, as Kiddi pressed the self-destruct button. Craig Wood hit 46 but the remaining batsmen were unable to get to grips with Green, who returned the best bowling figures of the season.
Kiddi’s final total of 159 saw Shrewsbury win by 37 runs and, tomorrow, they will attempt to become just the second team to complete a League and Cup double when they take on Himley in the Final of the Graham Williamson Trophy. Last season’s Champions, Knowle & Dorridge finished as runners-up following a winning draw at Wellington.
K & D hit 123 for nine, in an innings limited to 30 overs, after a late start, with Attiq Chishti unbeaten on 50 and Wendell Wagner taking 3 for 17 for Wellington. Once Shrewsbury had won, the title was out of K & D’s reach but they restricted the home side to 118 for four, in 30 overs, to ensure they finished in second place.
At the bottom of the table, Walmley were relegated, early in the day, at Wolverhampton. Needing to restrict the Danescourt outfit to three points and take 24, themselves, Walmley declared on 79 for eight but their gamble failed to pay off, as Wolverhampton won by five wickets. Wolverhampton appeared to be cruising to an easy victory on 47 without loss but four wickets in seven balls (including a hat-trick) by Hamza Nadeem reduced them to 48 for four.
Nadeem finished with 4 for 31 but 34 from Anish Kapil was enough to see Wolverhampton to safety. Dan Bassett hit 61 but Walsall’s Paul Wicker (4 for 61) and Paul Byrne (4 for 33) combined to dismiss Himley for 179 to give their side an escape route from relegation. Paul Baker’s 66 saw Walsall to a three wicket win which took them to 215 points.
Results, elsewhere, meant that Walsall were reliant on Kenilworth Wardens failing to obtain five points from their game with Barnt Green and they were left sweating right to the end. In a match reduced to 33 overs each side, Carl Crowe (75) and Nathan Newport (49) saw Barnt Green to 175 for four, which left Wardens requiring a minimum of 160 to draw level with Walsall and escape the trap-door due to winning one more game than their rivals. After 24 overs, two further overs were lost to rain and an abandonment at that stage would have saved Wardens. The weather relented and Wardens struggled to 141 for nine, finishing with 214 points, one point adrift of safety. Barnt Green’s Stephen Bevan finished with 4 for 58.
Both Smethwick and Moseley went into their last game, looking over their shoulders, but both sides had acquired enough points to reach safety by the time that the game came to a premature close, due to rain, with Moseley on 59 for one, in response to Smethwick’s 192, which owed much to an elegant 79 from Mo Sheikh.