Express & Star

Howell’s howitzers hand Wombourne winning draw

There was some big- hitting on display as Wombourne posted a huge total in their South Staffordshire County League clash with Tamworth second XI.


Wombourne opener Nathan Howell sent Tamworth’s attack to all parts as he bludgeoned 156 runs from just 95 balls as they tightened their grip on second spot in the Premier Division with a winning draw.

Howell’s total included nine sixes and 18 fours before he became the first wicket to fall, bowled by Ayaan Anis, after an opening stand of 198. Fellow opener Chad Brandrick was on 38 not out at the time – and he went on to accrue 76 from a relatively pedestrian 111 balls before he, too, was bowled, this time by Tom Kinson.

Any hopes bottom side Tamworth held of a little respite were quickly ended when home skipper Zac Smith smashed 67 from 48 balls before the hosts declared their innings on 335-4 from 45 overs.

In reply, Tamworth’s batters all got starts but the total proved too much, although they managed to cling on to claim seven points in a losing draw as they closed on 259-9 from 55 overs.

Elsewhere, leaders Fordhouses extended their lead at the top as they beat Walsall by 62 runs at Gorway Road. The hosts won the toss and put Fordhouses in to bat – and that would have appeared a wise move with the visitors making 205-9 from their 50 overs, Saqib Akbar top scoring with 44.

In response, however, Walsall struggled to get going with skipper Hashim Iqbal falling for a duck and Anaesh Patel following for three.

Rajeev Kanji made a steady 43 but despite a few getting starts, Walsall were eventually dismissed for 143, leaving them in eighth spot.

Third-placed Pelsall slipped up at home to Penkridge, losing by five wickets. Pelsall were dismissed for 152, with a number of batters getting a start but none going past the 20s as Penkridge’s bowlers shared the wickets, led by Jack Pope with figures of 3-32 from 14 overs. Penkridge reached their total with plenty of time to spare for the loss of five wickets, Ross Parker top scoring with an unbeaten 63.

Hammerwich remain fourth after cruising to an eight-wicket victory at Cannock. After being put in to bat, Cannock lost regular wickets with only Mo Sultan offering any resistance before falling two runs short of his century.

Hammerwich’s Ali Latif did most of the damage with the ball, taking 4-34 from his 10 overs.

Cannock’s total of 161 never looked anywhere near enough and skipper Craig Jennings’ 60 not out and an unbeaten 94 from Scott Elstone was enough to see Hammerwich ease home for the loss of two wickets in 31 overs. Cannock sit 10th and Hammerwich fourth.

Milford Hall remain fifth after having an even easier time of it at Aldridge, dismissing the hosts for 66 from 21.5 overs, then knocking off the total in just six overs without loss to record a crushing victory.

Will Davis and Chris Dean both took five wickets for Milford before Jordan Bulpitt and Archie O’Hara knocked off the runs in quick time. Aldridge stay second-bottom in 11th spot.

Sixth-placed Beacon won by five wickets at struggling Lichfield. The hosts posted 222-9 from their 50 overs with openers Muhammad Daniyaal and Stuart Fielding both making half-centuries.

After an early batting wobble for Beacon, skipper Dan Green (33), Oliver Green (86no) and Josh Chesworth (66no) saw them home for the loss of five wickets with seven balls to spare. Lichfield are now ninth.