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Walsall secure vital win in their quest for survival

Walsall secured a much-needed victory over relegation rivals Wem to boost their survival chances in the Birmingham Premier League at the weekend.

Wolverhampton Cricket Club’s first XI lin up for the camera: Back row, from left, Aqab Ahmed, Kieron Patel, Brad Fallon, Sandeep Dhillon, Tom Fell, Charlie Home. Front, from left: Jack Stanley, Ramanjot Jaswal, Will Nield (captain), Warrick Finn and Joe Stanley.
Wolverhampton Cricket Club’s first XI lin up for the camera: Back row, from left, Aqab Ahmed, Kieron Patel, Brad Fallon, Sandeep Dhillon, Tom Fell, Charlie Home. Front, from left: Jack Stanley, Ramanjot Jaswal, Will Nield (captain), Warrick Finn and Joe Stanley.

The Gorway Road side, third from bottom in Division Two, were inspired by overseas batter Om Bhosale. The left-hander scored 71 off 64 balls, hitting 10 fours and one six, to see Walsall to 168-4 in response to Wem’s 165 all-out.

Earlier, Ravan Chahal had taken 4-27 for Walsall to restrict Wem to a below-par score, and only Graham Wagg (50) offered any sort of resistance.

Wolverhampton continued their fine unbeaten run with a six-wicket win over local rivals Himley. Will Nield’s side have not lost since the first game of the season, and they sit top of Division Two.

It was a fine team performance from Wolverhampton, who bowled Himley out for 118.

The wickets were shared. Warrick Fynn and Brad Fallon picked up three each, with Adam Finch and Aqab Ahmed taking two. Himley did show some fight in the second innings, taking four wickets to leave them 120-4. Northampton left-arm spinner Graeme White and Jamie Turner took two wickets each.

Lichfield continued their pursuit of the league leaders Wolverhampton, Harborne and Barnards Green with a win away at Dorridge.

They completed a six-wicket victory which has now narrowed the margin between them and second to just nine points. Lichfield’s bowling attack, which has ripped through sides with ease this summer, blew away Dorridge’s top order. The star of the show was the skilful Brinder Phagura. The seamer, who swings it both ways, took 6-32 in his 12 overs, as Dorridge were bowled out for 103.

In reply, Lichfield knocked off the runs with ease, despite an attack which contained Leicestershire fast-bowler Chris Wright. They lost four wickets in their chase, and Will Davies top scoring with 30.

It was an important win for the away side as they gained a valuable 20 points, keeping them firmly in touch with the league leaders.

In Division One, Kidderminster’s Vikai Kelley smashed 91 off 94 balls to guide his side to victory over table-toppers Smethwick. The former Warwickshire Academy prospect hit 10 fours and two sixes in his innings, and he was supported by Neil Pinner (69) as they posted a mammoth 297 all-out. Roshan Venkataraman bowled tightly at the death for Smethwick and ended with figures of 5-57.

In reply, Smethwick started well, and they reached 66 without losing a wicket in the first 10 overs.

But then left-arm spinner Matthew Pardoe tore through Smethwick’s middle-order, taking 7-35, bowling them out for 175.

Halesowen continued their good form of late beating Leamington at Seth Somers Park.

After winning the toss and electing to field first, they bowled their opponents out for 155.

James Rudge inflicted most of the damage taking 3-17, and Harry Kitchen, Ciaran Baker-Smith and Ed Bragg picked up two wickets each. Billy Cox (41no), led the reply for the home side, with a composed knock to see his side over the line, securing the 20 points.

Jonathon Wigley and Dinuk De Silva picked up a couple of wickets each for the visitors.

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