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Bhatti and Hall steer Walmley to 113 run win over Moseley Ashfield in tense finale

Sarmad Bhatti’s brilliant unbeaten 102 plus five wickets from Jamie Hall steered Walmley to a 113-run Warwickshire Premier League win over Moseley Ashfield in a tense finale.

The Pakistani pro’s hundred plus a half-century from Sachin Dubb and a useful late contribution from skipper Jono Newis saw the home side close their 50 overs on 221 for seven.

Hall’s superb new-ball blast then reduced Ashfield to 43 for six before their lower order dug in around a defiant knock from Charlie Greening.

As a result the visitors’ final pair were left to survive 21 balls to secure a draw – and they went extremely close before Kiefer Woods trapped Ian Carey lbw to clinch Walmley a maximum points return with just two balls remaining.

“It went to the wire,” vice-captain Hall acknowledged.

“After we bowled so well at the start of the innings to have them 46 for six they really dug in to try and get a draw.

“It wasn’t easy for either side’s batters as the moisture in the air meant the ball nipped around all day. Sami (Bhatti) played a sensational knock in the circumstances and Sachin also deserves loads of credit. Their scores were worth double that in different conditions and we were really happy to get to 220.”

After being invited to bat first, two early wickets for Rayyen Khan plus one for veteran seamer Carey reduced the hosts to 22 for three.

But this brought Dubb to the crease where he joined Bhatti in rebuilding the home innings. The fourth-wicket pair added 101 critical runs before Dubb was bowled by Jack Wadelin for a 68-ball 54 which included nine boundaries.

After Armand Naser had fallen cheaply, Newis (19) joined forces with Bhatti in a useful 52-run sixth-wicket alliance which set the stage for Walmley’s pro to push his team beyond the 200 mark courtesy of a late flourish.

Bhatti reached his century in the 49th over before closing with an unbeaten 102 made from 129 balls with ten boundaries and two sixes.

Rayyen finished with 3-48 while Carey claimed 2-21 for an Ashfield side whose quest for 222 was soon under huge pressure against Hall’s new ball burst.

The in-form paceman struck in his opening over before claiming two further wickets soon after. With Newis removing Prakask the visitors were in real difficulties at 15 for four.

Although Walmley continued to claim wickets at regular intervals, Greening was proving an obdurate opponent and in eighth-wicket partner Khayam Khan he found a willing ally.

Khayam made 18 from 48 balls before becoming Dubb’s first victim, but it was his second intervention which ended Greening’s 128-ball vigil at 33 that opened the door for Woods to apply the coup de grace in a breathless finish.

Woods finished with 2-16 and Dubb claimed 2-10 but it was Hall’s outstanding return of 5-14 from 12 overs which really caught the eye.

Walmley now lie in fourth place in the table three points behind defending champions Stratford and 17 adrift of Coventry who they visit next Saturday. Sutton Coldfield, who continue to top the table, are 20 points ahead of Newis’ team.

Pics – Paul Devine

Words – Paul Smith (Stumped4Words)

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