A BREATHTAKING innings from Coventry and North Warwickshire’s Indian pro Shivam Bhambri sentenced Bedworth to an emphatic 233-run Warwickshire Premier League round eight defeat, writes Paul Smith.
The 26-year-old right-hander lashed 150 from just 105 deliveries as the visitors took full advantage of a superb Miners’ Welfare Park pitch and a short boundary to rack up 371 for six.
Opener Ryan Parnell (43) then top-scored for the shell-shocked hosts who were bowled out in the 34th over for 138.
This result leaves Bedworth in eighth place in the table ahead of next week’s visit to Solihull Municipal.
“It was a very difficult day,” captain Abdul Hafeez acknowledged.
“Bhambri batted superbly; it was the first time I have come across him and he looks a very good player.
“The short boundary on the railway side obviously contributed but once he was well set and confident and they had eight wickets in hand with 15 overs remaining it was extremely hard to keep control.
“Juggy Nandra bowled a good spell and Fizz Abdullah came back well at the death but otherwise we had a forgettable day with the ball.
“We then tried to play our normal game with the bat but when you are confronted with such a big score it is extremely tough.”
There was little hint of what followed as Matt Nobes (35) and former Bedworth opener Will Iles added 57 for Coventry’s first wicket in 15 overs.
Iles’ fluent even-time 54 included ten boundaries and he added a further 54 with Bhambri before being bowled by Nandra.
This set the stage for Marco Higgins to join the Indian ace in a third wicket alliance worth 104 before he fell to Ash Cutts for a 55-ball 42.
With Bhambri continuing to pile on the pressure from one end there was now no respite for the hosts from the other since his fourth-wicket partner Taran Toor upped the tempo appreciably by making 41 from just 26 balls during their 115-run partnership.
When Bhambri finally fell to Finn Haynes he had found the boundary 17 times and cleared it on a further five occasions in his outstanding 150.
Enough time remained for Cov’s acting captain Harry Horsley to thrash 25 from just eight balls before the innings closed at 371 for six from 50 overs.
Abdullah finished with 2-55 while Waqar Dad joined Cutts, Nandra and Haynes in picking up a wicket apiece for a home side whose response was soon in difficulty at 30 for three.
Nandra (18) then helped Parnell stem the flow of wickets before the opener was fourth out for a 49-ball 43 which included eight boundaries.
Despite some late defiance from Hafeez and Manbir Johal, with Toor (3-29) and George Neal (3-13) sharing six wickets the end eventually arrived in the 34th over.
Bedworth travel to Solihull Muncipal next Saturday.