In the meeting between the Premier Division’s bottom two, it was Old Wulfs who claimed only their second victory of the campaign to close the gap to safety to 25 points with eight matches to play.
A patient 61 from Mathusuthan Rabindranath and a considerably more high tempo 51 from Adeesha Tilanchana helped lay the foundation for a total of 282-7 after the visitors had won the toss and chosen to bat first.
Thilanchana’s effort came from only 45 balls while Amandeep Randhawa (39 from 34 balls) and Gurbhej Singh (35 from 32) also kept things moving.
Jake Aston and Ross Matthews both claimed two wickets apiece for the hosts, who at one stage looked well set to attack the target when Lee Evans (78) and Jon Heath (64) shared an 89-run fourth-wicket partnership.
Even when the latter was dismissed with the score on 164, the match was finely poised but when Rabindranath ended Rhys Morgan’s cameo (24 from 17 balls) to make it 205-6, Rugeley quickly lost their way. They were eventually bowled out for 249 to lose by 33 runs, Randhawa completing a fine individual performance by claiming figures of 3-53.
Beacon went big again as they recorded a thumping 210-run win in the derby match at Wombourne.
One week after racking up a total of 419, the Boys from the Bratch reached 334-8 from their 50 overs after choosing to bat. Overseas ace Josh Pistorius top scored with 91 from 61 balls, while Ashley Hartshorn (73 from 61 balls) and Sam Flavell (53 not out from 29 balls) also hit half-centuries.
Wombourne never looked like getting anywhere near the target, Pistorious completing his man-of-the-match performance by claiming 5-26 with the ball as the home side were bowled out for 124.
Victory kept Beacon in fifth place, well in contention to finish the season ‘best of the rest’ behind the top three of Lichfield, Milford Hall and Tamworth.
Penkridge’s hopes of overhauling third-placed Tamworth faded as they fell 16 runs short of chasing down 269 in another high-scoring encounter.
Matthew Coles’ 108 proved the key innings as he, together with Jason Jakeman (73), helped the visitors recover from 13-3.
Penkridge got a big knock of their own from Attiq Chisti, who hit three sixes on his way to 107. Yet no-one could stay with him, with Ross Parker (31) one of only three other players to reach double figures.
Lichfield remain top of the table by two points over Milford Hall courtesy of a comfortable 94-run win at Hammerwich.
Riley Ward top scored with 96 as the visitors, who remain unbeaten now 14 matches into the season, racked up 321-9 after being put into bat.
Brinder Phagura, their second top scorer with 55, then claimed the first of four wickets when he removed Hammerwich opener Brian Fisher for a duck. Home skipper John Jennings, who had earlier taken three wickets himself, provided some resistance with a battling 49 from 91 balls but the target was never seriously threatened as they finished on 227-8.
Milford Hall, also still unbeaten, were similarly comfortable in seeing off Fordhouses by 65 runs.
Sahal Malvernkar, with 97 from 89 balls, played the anchor role as Milford reached 279-8 from their 50 overs, Fordhouses’ Steven Sandhu claiming 4-57.
The visitors then lost Niall Cooper to the third ball of the reply and though Parminder Singh’s 80 from 65 balls was typical of a bullish effort, with Fordhouses always up with the required rate, wickets fell at regular intervals as they were eventually bowled out for 214.
Wolverhampton seconds are up to sixth after a five-wicket win at Brewood.
Navi Poonia hit an impressive 70 but the home side were restricted to 239-9 as Pirmjit Singh Kalair claimed 4-46. Vikul Lal then top scored for Wolverhampton with 67, while Adam Lawley’s unbeaten, run-a-ball 55 saw them chase down the total with just over two overs to spare.