The end of the Warwickshire League saw Walmley host Smethwick CC at Court Lane. After limiting the hosts to a mid-range total, Smethwick nearly chased it down. The last competitive game of the season had several ebbs and flows and came all the way down to the wire, the match won in the final over.
Choosing to bat first, the openers were slow off the blocks. Slowly they got going and both Kian Eratne and captain Michael Shackleford made very good 30s and retired as per the league’s rules. Ben Carruthers was run out courtesy a sharp throw and the middle order crumbled a little bit, the team in desperate need of a partnership. Adi Muthukumar, batting higher than he usually does, made a valuable 25, taking the team to a sub-par 117/5. A total not as high as the team’s high standards but definitely something to defend with the ball.
Adi also shone with the ball, picking 2 wickets in his first over off consecutive balls. After he snapped another one in the 6th over, the batsmen began to play their shots. Wayward bowling and powerful strikes put Smethwick in the driving seat and before we knew it, they needed less than a run a ball. Enter Salaar Saleem; after a meagre score with the bat, he provided the much-needed resistance. After having a wicket first ball, he kept it watertight, giving just 4 runs in 3 overs (including a maiden) and also had another wicket. Adi bowled another batsman before keeper Michael ran a batsman out to leave Smethwick in a difficult position. Kian, bowling his newly found style of leg-spin, picked up a wicket in the last over and sealed the deal for Walmley, winning by just 8 runs.
Walmley finish on top of the league table with a sizeable lead, winning all 6 games played. The U15Bs are set to play a couple of friendlies to round off what has been an action-packed season (which will be evaluated forensically in my season review – watch this space!)
Walmley CC 117/5 (Kian Eratne 30, Michael Shackleford 30) beat Smethwick CC (2 batsmen scored 30, Adi Muthukumar 4-10)