West of England Premier League
Premier 1
Bridgwater 175-6 beat Frocester 189-8 (DLS revised target 209) by 19 runs

BRIDGWATER came out on top of another tense and topsy-turvy encounter at The Parks on Saturday, the result all but ensuring their Premier 1 status for another season.

With rain forecast, the home side were inserted by Frocester, who themselves were in deep relegation trouble.

That decision paid off, as Gloucestershire’s Chris Liddle removed Merv Hallaran and George Bartlett in a lively opening spell, with the score on 24.

Liddle (3-14) struck again on 51 to remove Liam Kitch (24), who was playing fluently.

Ian Chauhan and Stu Butt repaired the early damage, however, to move the score cautiously along to 120 off 28 overs before the rain arrived, forcing a break of more than two hours.

Duckworth Lewis entered the fray, and when the teams returned to the field Bridgwater were only allowed another six overs to amass as many as they could in the search for crucial batting points.

Butt (25) fell quickly but he and Chauhan added 80 vital runs to allow the middle order to have a dash, as 55 runs were added in the six overs to reach 175 and another point, with Chauhan continuing his excellent recent form by finishing on a classy 88 no (79 balls, 13 4s and one 6).

As only six wickets had been lost, under the DLS regulations Bridgwater’s score was adjusted to 209, setting Frocester a tough target of 210 to win in 34 overs.

The visitors’ openers set to their task with relish, as the hard-hitting overseas player Andy Solomon smashed 90 off only 52 balls, taking a liking to the short boundaries with seven 6s.

His partner Uzi Qureshi supported with 52, as the pair blasted 141 for the first wicket off only 17 overs at the drinks break.

But both fell within three runs as, just like last week, Bridgwater upped their performance after the break to exert pressure on the Frocester middle order with excellent second spells from their seamers, supported by fine catches in the deep and four from ‘keeper Liam Kitch as Frocester became ever more desperate.

The visitors were restricted to 189-8 off their 34 overs with Chris Skidmore (2-24), Chris Singleton (2-23) and Andy Skidmore (2-43) being the standouts in a remarkable turnaround of fortunes.

The game had swung in every direction but was played in a very fine spirit in front of another very supportive crowd.

Match sponsor: PAW Engineering Ltd; match ball sponsor: TMB patterns Ltd.

On Saturday, Bridgwater travel to Bath (12.30pm start).


WEPL Somerset Division
Bridgwater 2nds 242-7 beat Staplegrove 240-8 by 3 wkts

HALF-CENTURIES from Jonathan Vickery and Will Moyse led Bridgwater 2nds to a three-wicket victory which consigned Staplegrove to the drop.

Daniel Rossiter (3-58), Tom Bellinger (2-36) and Andrew Skidmore (2-48) were among the wickets as Staplegrove finished their rain-free 50 overs on 240-8.

Bridgwater lost an early wicket in reply but Rossiter (23) and Vickery steadied the ship, the latter hitting 11 fours in his 73 before falling with the score 184-4.

Moyse took charge thereafter, finishing unbeaten on 67 - 52 of which came in boundaries - from 50 balls as Bridgwater got home with six overs to spare.

Bridgwater are back on home soil on Saturday as Chard visit The Parks (12.30pm).