Pictures from Saturday's top-of-the-table match with Warwick
Oakfield & Rowlands 1st XI v Warwick 1st XI
Saturday’s game was expected to have a huge bearing on the destination of the league title, as first took on second.
Captain Richard Burnett won the toss and elected to field first, and Ben Broadhurst made an early breakthrough.
However, Warwick built a solid second-wicket partnership between Passey and Sood before Jamie Brightwell had the former well caught for 35. At the halfway stage Warwick were well set on 90-2 when the rain came, bringing a six-over delay.
After the break Broadhurst returned, this time bowling his finger-spin and immediately picked up the third wicket. Brightwell then had Sood caught for 25 in the next over, Craig Gowdy taking his third excellent slip catch of the innings.
The game continued to ebb and flow, Warwick skipper Bhatti and Singh rebuilding with a 50 parternship to again put Warwick in a good position.
Dave Odwell then returned to the attack and removed both batsmen before picking up a third wicket on his way to 3-44. Warwick then slowed down looking to ensure they batted the 50 overs, which they did, losing their final wicket off the last ball to Brightwell (4-48) as the innings closed on 183 all out, which looked about par.
After tea, the home side were looking for a solid start but were met by an inspired bowling performance from visiting skipper Bhatti. He picked up a wicket in his first over and didn’t look back, taking 4-1 in seven overs as the hosts were reduced to 6-4, their unbeaten record under severe pressure.
With a game in hand over Warwick, Oakfield & Rowlands knew a draw would keep them well in the title hunt, and Jimmy Carter and Rob Harris set about to achieve this.
The pair added 46 in 30 overs to nullify the visiting attack, and only the return of Bhatti for his second spell led to the fall of another wicket, Harris bowled for 24. Carter was looking solid at the other end and found support from Tristan Mobbs, the pair seeing out the remaining overs to secure the draw, and crucially limit Warwick to 15 points. Carter batted throughout the innings for 23 not out, a great effort under the circumstances.
The result left Oakfield and Rowlands 13 points behind Warwick with three games to play, as attention turned to the Bank Holiday fixtures.
Oakfield & Rowlands 1st XI v Southam 1st XI
On Bank Holiday Monday, Oakfield & Rowlands entertained Southam in a must-win game after Saturday’s draw. After overnight rain skipper Richard Burnett again elected to field when he won the toss. Oli Vaughan took the new ball and made an early breakthrough as the visitors struggled against some accurate bowling. Jamie Brightwell and Mark Randle were the change bowlers and there was little let-up as the hosts turned the screw on the visitors’ run rate.
The pressure told as Brightwell (2-17) and Randle (2-33) bowled 2 unchanged overs to limit Southam. Vaughan (2-28) returned to the attack to pick up his second wicket before Dave Odwell and Rob Harris got in on the act with two wickets each to clear up the tail as Southam were bowled out for 126.
After tea, the hosts lost a couple of early wickets as they found runs hard to come by. In-form Jimmy Carter then holed out for 16 to leave some jitters in the home dressing room.
Rob Harris and Stewart Burnett added 32 before the latter was caught for 13 trying to up the rate after drinks. This brought Craig Gowdy to the wicket up hit a quickfire 31, edging the hosts closer to their target and also upping the run rate. When he was the fifth wicket to fall there were still 15 runs required for victory, but skipper Richard Burnett (11 not out) teamed up with Harris (37 not out) to see the hosts home.
The victory meant Oakfield & Rowlands had secured at least the runners-up spot in the league with two games to play.
News then filtered through that Warwick had lost to Star Alvis, meaning Oakfield & Rowlands were top of the table for the first time this season, leading Warwick by six points with a game in hand.
They now need 18 points to secure the title and have a chance to do this when they visit Attock in Birmingham next week.
Warwickshire Division 6
Corley 2nd XI vs Oakfield & Rowlands 2nd XI
The 2nd XI travelled to Corley on Saturday looking to maintain their solid form of recent weeks. Having arrived in Coventry, the heavens opened leading to a delayed start and a 25 overs-a-side match.
Bowling first, the visitors made a great start with Riv Monsell (1-17) picking up an early wicket. Luke Fernando (1-30) followed up with another but things became trickier after this, largely down to Holland’s 71.
Kaz Kooner (1-41) and skipper Neil Armstrong (2-29) also struck but the hosts finished on a credible 179-5 from their 25 overs.
Luke and Neil Armstrong made a solid start after the break for the visitors, before the former fell for 20. Andy Clowes came and went for 16 as Oakfield & Rowlands struggled to keep up with the run rate, but rarely looked like being bowled out.
Skipper Neil Armstrong carried his bat for 68 as the innings closed on 136-5, securing a draw for the visitors.
Moseley Ashfield 2nd XI vs Oakfield & Rowlands 2nd XI
The 2nd XI travelled to Moseley on Monday for what was expected to be a tough encounter against a side whose 1st XI were busy securing the Division 1 title.
Visiting skipper Darren French won the toss and elected to field first, and Herman Claassen made an early breakthrough.
Khan however, held the innings together for the hosts with 91 as they amassed 210-7 from their 50 overs. Herman Claassen was the most successful bowler with 2-37 and was well supported by Like Fernando (1-40) and Darren French (2-37).
After the tea interval the visitors lost an early wicket before Dan Clowes (24) and Glyn Vaughan (20) rebuilt. Danny Simms then changed the course of the game smashing 78 including 5 sixes and 5 fours as Oakfield & Rowlands took control of the chase.
Once he was dismissed skipper French (21) and Werno Claassen (24 not out) ensured there were no major alarms as the visitors secured a well-earned three-wicket victory.