A PLACE in the last 16 of the Wadworth 6X Village Knockout was the reward for Colwall after Damien Berry and Stuart Bailey's heroics with the bat secured a nerve racking one-wicket win at Isham in Northamptonshire on Sunday.


Winning the toss and choosing to field, Colwall set about the Isham top order from the off but couldn't halt the four an over run rate that openers Ben Reid and Tony Robinson established. Both however fell inside 11 overs as Richard Bennett caught Reid for 14 at his second attempt at slip off Damien Berry's bowling and Stuart Bailey bowled Robinson for 17.

From that point on Isham could never keep up the flow of runs as Eddie Hill's tight spell of nine overs for 29 and Bailey's dominance with the ball were rewarded, the latter taking the vital wicket of Lodder for 14 thanks to the first of three impressive stumpings by Steve Ferguson.

Only Tim Robinson's 54 kept Isham within sight of a respectable total as skipper Dave Sutton bowled his nine overs for just 25 runs and Richard Williams (2-32 off 8) gave good support.

Following Robinson's dismissal after a superb stumping off a wide by Ferguson, Isham slumped to 120-5 off 35 overs and in a desperate search for runs lost four further wickets to finish on 145-9 off their 40 overs. Bailey's excellent stint of nine overs brought figures of 4-26 as Colwall looked confident of reaching the mediocre total.

Run rate exceeded

Colwall's innings was above the run rate required and this proved crucial in the final reckoning as it needed the tenth wicket partnership of Bailey and Berry to win the game. Tom Wolfendale started the run chase in confident manner playing some well-timed shots despite the early dismissal of Barney Bamford.

Tim Riley continued the quick start but was the second victim of Paul Hughes' pace, being caught behind for ten. Wolfendale and Richard Williams next put on 27 runs for the third wicket as Isham's bowlers struggled.

However, following the run out of Wolfendale for 24 and the introduction of Eaton to the bowling attack, the visitors found themselves four wickets down, badly needing a pair of batsmen to stay at the crease. This looked to be found in Steve Ferguson and Richard Bennett's pairing of 34 for the fifth wicket but the latter fell to Hobbs at cover after a rapid 16 runs. Ferguson's top score of 25 was critical to Colwall's eventual total before Eaton's four wickets for the loss of only 27 runs left Colwall at a nervous 115-6 with 13 overs left.

Martin Oliver next started brightly with two well executed hooks for boundaries but too fell to Eaton before a collapse in the middle order and tail put the game in the balance with the final wicket of Berry and Bailey needing 18 runs for victory. Following sensible defensive play by the pair to see out Hughes (2-25 off nine) and Hobbs, Berry took the initiative in the 37th over to crash two four's off new bowler Reid's medium pace, the latter reaching the boundary despite a mis-field by fielder Ashworth to level the score.

The decisive one run was still needed and this came off Lodder's first delivery being wide sending the Colwall travelling support wild and confirming a nerve-racking one wicket win to send the visitors through to the last 16.

Colwall now travel to Exhall & Wixford in the next round on Sunday, July 22.