A MAGNIFICENT, unbeaten 85 from Roman Walker was the highlight of Oswestry's comfortable seven-wicket win over Himley on Saturday.

This latest win lifts the Morda Road men up to second place in the First Division table of the Birmingham League – the highest ever position in the club's history.

Walker, who is in his second season at Oswestry after earning a summer contract with Glamorgan, has now scored more than 350 runs at an average of over 50, to add to his tally of 19 wickets. There are still 10 games to go.

His latest exploit came off just 59 balls and included 11 fours and five sixes. as the hosts chased down the Staffordshire side's total of 189 all-out ,with 26 overs to spare.

After electing to field on a wicket that was well-covered with grass and had a significant tinge of green, stand-in skipper Dean Suter could have been forgiven in wondering whether he had made the right call, as Worcestershire's Ollie Westbury and fellow opener Bilaal Hussain, raced to 103 without loss as a total of in excess of 300 looked well on the cards.

But the introduction of Oswestry's "go to" man, Warrick Fynn dramatically changed the course of the game with Westbury being deceived in the flight and caught and bowled by the slow left armer for 47. Hussain soon followed after reaching his half-century.

When Charlie Morris had Callum Lea caught behind by Suter, the visitors had slipped to 114-3 and they continued to struggle against Oswestry's slow men.

Danny Durman was next to go, falling lbw to Fynn, who struck again having Sri Lankan professional Shehan Fernando, well caught by Ritu Raj Singh in the deep for 16.

A brilliant piece of fielding by Joe Carrasco saw skipper Jamie Turner run out by a direct hit as Himley quickly subsided; the last five wickets added just 18 runs as Walker and Singh – a constant threat all afternoon – mopped up the tail.

The visitors total was always likely to be below par on a good wicket and lightening outfield, and so it proved with the Oswestry opening batsmen quickly taking advantage, plundering anything short of a length and over-pitched They had reached 66 when Fynn miss-timed a full toss off left arm spinner Stuart Wedge, which to his disbelief, he hit straight down mid-on's throat departing for a well-made 39.

Any fears that Oswestry's innings might follow a similar pattern to that of their opponents were quickly dispelled, as Carrasco and Walker restored order, putting on 74 for the third wicket before Carrasco failed to clear Westbury at wide deep long-on, and was caught for a valuable 42.

Walker was joined by Xavier Clarke, fresh from a century for Worcs Academy in midweek, and the teenagers made light work of guiding Oswestry home, scoring the remaining 50 runs needed to win, off just 29 balls.

Clarke has looked impressive in his last two knocks, but it was Walker who stole the show with some wonderful straight hitting and back foot shots .

Walker, after the game, was quick to deflect the praise richly bestowed upon him, saying it was “very much a team effort”.

“In terms of batting , I am really enjoying my opportunity at Oswestry. I am just trying to keep it simple and concentrate on those shots I can play," he added.

Club officials will be anxious to secure the services of the highly-talented Walker for next season, if agreement can be reached with his county.

Oswestry second X1 proved too strong for their north Shropshire rivals, Whitchurch in their match at Heath Road, scoring 268-6 off their 50 overs. Young Josh Darley was again among the runs scoring 45 and there were also valuable contributions from Alex Roberts (26), Sam Davies (28) Owen Aspinall (42) and Chris Catterall (38) Iwan Roberts claimed the batting honours with a well struck 54 with Ian Marsh for Whitchurch rolling back the years, and taking 3-55.

Catterall returned the impressive figures of 5-22, while Ellesmere College fast bowler and young county prospect, Alex Selby took 3-29. The home side were dismissed for 53 in the 17th over.