WEPL Premier 1

Bridgwater 206-7 beat Bristol 59 by 147 runs

A REMARKABLE bowling performance from Chris Skidmore, including a hat-trick, saw Bridgwater keep their title dreams alive at The Parks on Saturday (August 18).

The home side chose to bat on a hard, quick pitch in steamy conditions and made steady progress against the lively Bristol attack who gave little away.

But there was a bowling breakthrough when Mike Coles (21) drove hard to mid-off to be well held at a juggling second attempt by Graeme Brown with the score on 42 in the tenth over.

Mitch Windsor (23) and Chris Gange took the score to the mid-60s before both fell as the Bristol bowlers kept the pressure on.

And it was to get better for the visitors as Bridgwater slumped to 108-5 in the 30th over.

Josh Vickery (47) and Steffan Jones (56 not out) started the revival with 74 crucial runs to push their team towards a defendable total of 206-7.

There was little sign of the mayhem that was to follow as the Bristol openers moved the score along to 4-0 off the first three overs but the aggressive Skidmore was to change all that as he took his first Premier 1 hat-trick, all clean bowled, in his second over to leave the Bristol reply in tatters at 4-3.

It was to get much worse for the visitors as they were reduced to 20-6, all bowled by Skidmore to give him the amazing return of 6-12.

Ian Bishop had kept the pressure up at the other end by only conceding 11 runs off his ten overs but it was Mike Coles with 3-17 who was to mop up, supported by Ed Habberfield who took the last wicket with his only ball to remove top scorer Graeme Brown for 23 as the Bristol innings ended on 59 in only the 29th over.

Match sponsor: Charles Dickens; Ball sponsor: TMB Patterns Ltd. 

BRIDGWATER, who are equal on points with Bath at the top of the table, travel to fourth-placed Corsham on Saturday with a 12.30pm start, following tomorrow’s (August 22) match against Wembdon in a re-arranged Taunton Sunday League Twenty20 match at 6pm.

The second team’s match at Bristol was called off due to a waterlogged pitch.

They have a five-point lead at the top of the table but face a tough test on Saturday, when they play thrid placed Corsham at The Parks at 1pm.