Sunday, May 1st, 2022

ACADEMY FINISH RUNNERS-UP AFTER SECONDS COACH KADEER HITS HALF CENTURY AT NEW ROAD

Worcestershire Academy had to settle for runners-up spot in the Birmingham Premier League Graham Williamson Trophy after going down by seven wickets to Smethwick in a rain-affected final at New Road.

Rehaan Edavalath top-scored with 39 for the Academy who totalled 127-8 in their 20 overs when play started nearly four hours late.

But Worcestershire Seconds Coach, Kadeer Ali, struck a 36 ball half century for Smethwick who won with 4.3 overs to spare.

The Academy can reflect on a splendid tournament in which they knocked out Halesowen, 2021 holders Barnt Green and Ombersley

Their players will also benefit immensely from the experience of playing in a major final on their home ground so early in their careers.

Worcestershire Academy were put into bat when play finally did get underway at 4.15 pm with the number of overs per side reduced from 40.

After the loss of two early wickets, Oliver Halion and Edavalath featured in the major stand of the innings, adding 68 in 11.3 overs.

Halion made 32 off 34 balls before he was caught at mid off and Edavalath a run a ball 39 until he was stumped.

Wicket-keeper Henry Cullen, fresh from his maiden half century for the Seconds, continued his good form by making an unbeaten 34 off 25 deliveries.

He and Reeve Evitts โ€“ 16 off nine balls โ€“ added 33 before the loss of four wickets in eight balls as the Academy totalled 127-8.

When Smethwick launched their reply, Cameron Jones made two early breakthroughs.

He had Muhammad Qamar Khan (0) caught behind in his first over and in his second over had Rajpal Beniwal (6) safely pouched by captain Joe Stanley at mid wicket.

Smethwick were then 17-2 but former Worcestershire batter Kadeer dominated proceedings for the remainder of the game.

In extremely murky light and drizzle, which made it hard to grip the ball, he ensured his side stayed ahead of the scoring rate.

His half century was completed with a lofted four back down the ground off Stanley.

It contained three sixes and five fours.

Kadeer was eventually lbw to spinner Josh Dickenson for 56 after adding 88 for the third wicket with Bilal Shafayat who ended unbeaten on 41.

Jones ended with 4-0-32-2 and Dickenson 4-0-30-1.