1st. XI v. Kings Heath
Kenilworth WIN to survive relegation in a tactical declaration match.
With Division 1 survival in the Warwickshire County Cricket League at stake for both sides in their crucial final match of the season, Kenilworth needed 3 points to condemn King’s Heath to relegation and it was a stunning 93 run 3rd. wicket partnership between Chris Prophet and Dave Edmunds who both stood firm under immense pressure to set up a Kenilworth victory and break King’s Heath’s hearts after they had tactically declared.
The day started with Kenilworth in 10th. spot 22 points ahead of 11th. placed King’s Heath in a match where a maximum of 24 points were available dependant on the toss and 23 points ahead of bottom placed Water Orton, meaning that two of the three sides were going to drop into Division 2 by the end of the day.
The coin came down in King’s Heath’s favour who chose to bat – otherwise the match would have become a dead rubber had they lost the toss and would have condemned them to automatic relegation before the match had even started.
Their openers put on 34 for the first wicket before Sunny Ahmed bowled Langham-Walsh for 20. A 46 run 2nd. wicket partnership then took the side to 80-2 before Louw fell for 34 when Matt Casey took the catch off Henry Curran’s bowling. King’s Heath then found themselves at 96-3 as opener McKeever fell after posting 30, caught by Curran off Joe Atkinson’s bowling before a 4th. wicket partnership of 55 between Bird who made an unbeaten 51 and Baker then took the side to 151-4 before Ahmed bowled Baker for 10. King’s Heath then tactically declared at the fall of the wicket after 38.3 overs. Ahmed took 2-33, Atkinson 1-40 and Curran 1-44 whilst opener Steve Rhodes, although wicketless, conceded only 28 runs in his 8 overs opening burst.
Home skipper, Pete Magafas opened with Adie Sellar who fell LBW for 2 with the score on 20-1. He was then joined by Chris Prophet. The pair went onto put 35 together for the second wicket before Magafas departed for 30 (3 x 4, 1 x 6). Dave Edmunds then joined Prophet and the pair started to build a strong partnership together. Several bowling changes were made by King’s Heath as they sought a breakthrough. However, both remained steadfast, solidly batting together for 26 overs, dampening the King’s Heath’s spirits and took the side to the brink of victory as they shared in a superb 93 run third wicket partnership. With the score onto 148, 4 away from victory, Edmunds fell for 48, after hitting 8 boundaries in his 78 ball knock. A couple more quick wickets then fell to increase the tension including Prophet’s, whose resolute innings of 51 finally came to an end after 118 balls in which he had hit 9 boundaries with the side finding themselves on 149-5.
However, a huge sigh of relief was breathed as Tom Booker and Atkinson took Kenilworth over the winning line and score the next 3 priceless runs to ensure that the side reached 152-5 in 44.3 overs to secure Kenilworth’s Division 1 status for next season after an intense and pressure filled day from start to finish.
A game played in great atmosphere and spirits by both sides and a credit to both clubs and to cricket, heightened by King’s Heath tactical declaration in their attempt to stave off relegation but it was Kenilworth’s day thanks, in the main, to Prophet and Edmunds with the bat as they remain in Division 1 for another year, which is in itself an achievement as the side started their campaign at the beginning of the season as the lowest ranked team of the 12 sides in a very tough and competitive Division.
King’s Heath 151-4 off 38.3 overs DECLARED (Sunny Ahmed 2-33, Joe Atkinson 1-40 and Henry Curran 1-44) – 4 points
Kenilworth 152-5 (44.3 overs) (Pete Magafas 30, Chris Prophet 51 and Dave Edmunds 48 who shared in a 93 run match winning 3rd. wicket partnership) – 24 points.
WELL DONE LADS.