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Smethick too strong for Kidderminster

Smethwick strengthened their grip on top spot of Birmingham League Premier One with a crucial win at early pace-setting rivals Kidderminster.

Wolves Jaswal on strike.
Wolves Jaswal on strike.

The visitors ran old comfortable victors by 129 runs at Chester Road, with opener Muhammad Qamar Khan star of the show with the bat, eventually falling just 10 runs short of 150 late in the innings.

Manraj Johal, meanwhile, did the damage with the ball for table-toppers Smethwick. His haul of 5-31 ensured the leaders retain their 100 per cent record from five games, having already chalked up 100 points – and a 17-point margin from closest chasers Barnt Green.

Kidderminster, who were previously three wins from four, elected to field but were powerless to stop Khan in his tracks, as the batter's 140 put Rawait Khan's side well on their way to a very healthy 298-8 from their 50 overs. Bilal Shafayat and Rawait Khan second top-scored with just 21.

The hosts fell well short in reply at just 169 all out, mainly thanks to Johal's decisive deliveries.

Joe Miszkowski managed 63 with eight boundaries but Callum Bennett's 20 was their next best as Kidderminster drop to fifth.

Elsewhere in the top flight, struggling Halesowen fell short by 40 runs in defeat at Leamington.

Himley's Turner on strike.

The boys from Seth Somers Park have managed just a single victory so far this term and find themselves only three points clear of the bottom two after falling short in the chase in Warwickshire.

Halesowen looked set for victory early on with the hosts down at 12-4 but Leamington staged a remarkable revival through Luke De Souza (113) and Oliver Currill (124), whose explosive fifth-wicket stand of 239 did the damage on the way to 286-9.

Visiting skipper Alexei Kervezee, batting at six, kept his side in within a faint shout with 103 off 78 balls after Halesowen toiled early on but his efforts were not enough for the visitors.

Meanwhile, in Premier Division Two, Wolverhampton were strong victors on the road at Himley to make it four wins from five.

The visitors were put in to bat and closed their innings on 237-6 from 50 overs. Opener Ramanjot Jaswal carried his bat for 109 with able support from Charlie Home (59).

Himley’s Ollie Walker claimed 3-42. Himley’s reply on their home wicket began woefully at 27-6 as it appeared the hosts were done and dusted. Jamie Turner (56) and Jamie Lunn (33) dug in for some late pain relief but ultimately Himley fell well short with 145.

Aqab Ahmed (3-19) and Brad Fallon (3-27) were in devastating form with the ball for Wolverhampton, who are fourth and just 15 points off top spot.

Lichfield, though, look strong in second after a tight three-wicket win against mid-table Dorridge.

The hosts put Dorridge into bat and limited them to just 180-7 from 50 overs, with James Wilkinson and Riley Ward claiming three and two wickets respectively.

Lichfield shared out the runs in reply and made the total with three wickets and 15 overs to spare. Will Davies (37) and Joe Seager (46 not-out) were the main contributors for their side, who have four wins from five.

Walsall secured an important 20 points to move clear of the bottom two in a low-scoring away win at Wem. Shropshire hosts Wem, welcoming Walsall in the league for the first time, fell 87 all out with Jordan Bulpitt (3-15), Luke Stynes (2- 21) and Mateen Khan (2-28) all in on the action.

Walsall’s chase was not a foregone conclusion, however. Captain Amit John’s 33 was their best as the visitors threatened a collapse with Wem top scorer Graham Wagg managing 3-13, but Walsall got home by three wickets.

West Bromwich Dartmouth fell to a 40-run home defeat to Bromsgrove as their tough campaign continues. Dartmouth, third-bottom, were set a target of 216 chiefly thanks to wicketkeeper Alex Milton’s unbeaten 89. But the hosts fell short at 176 all out with little support to Ibbadat Thaman’s 62.

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