Bridgwater CC 1st XI 258 / 7 (50) vs Bath CC 1st XI 260 / 5 (47.3)

AT a sun-drenched Parks watched by a sizeable crowd, Bridgwater lost their unbeaten home record when they were defeated in a very tight game against WEPL championship favourites Bath, the eventual winning margin being 5 wickets.

On winning an important toss the visitors inserted Bridgwater into bat, with likely assistance in the first 15 overs of the game, and they were to deal the first blow of the game as the unfortunate Will Smeed (12) was caught at third man off a short wide delivery giving Axtell the most fortunate of wickets.

Batting proved tough once again for the Bridgwater top order against a disciplined Bath bowling attack for whom Paul Muchall was the pick of the bowlers with 2-24 from his 10 overs, as Bridgwater fell to 87 for 4.

Fortunately for the home side Somerset’s George Bartlett was still at the crease and he was to go on and dominate the remainder of the innings, firstly in consolidation with Mike Coles, with Bridgwater 100 for 4 at the drinks break.

Coles (15) was harshly adjudged LBW leaving Bridgwater 120 for 5, and when skipper Butt fell in the same fashion Bridgwater were in trouble at 137 for 6.

Once again Kiwi Will Williams would show his class as an all rounder, superbly supporting Bartlett as they looked to turn the game around.

Bartlett would dominate the final 20 overs, with his first 50 runs coming in 93 balls, he brought up a deserved and classy hundred from 126 balls, as the home side brought up the 200 with 5 overs to go.

Williams (44) would fall with the score on 237, with the partnership for the 7th wicket exactly 100, and late innings hitting from Bartlett would boost the score to a par 258 for 7 at the innings break. Bartlett’s innings was a superb effort with 126 not out from 135 balls including 11 fours and 7 sixes.

After tea Williams set about the Bath batting line up dismissing inform South African Brad Porteous for a duck and Gloucestershire’s Ben Wells for 26, as Bridgwater got themselves into the game at 48 for 2.

However, Bath would remain in control of the game as Ashur Morrison and former Somerset professional Sam Young built a good partnership against disciplined bowling.

Alfie Ogborne was particularly unlucky for the home side as he bowled an excellent first spell of left arm seam, including a dropped catch to dismiss Morrison. Morrison (54) was eventually dismissed by Coles and when the returning Williams removed Young (60) with an absolute beauty leaving Bath 166 for 4.

With Bridgwater needing quick wickets Harry Ellison would counterattack alongside visiting skipper Tim Rouse (53no) as they would put on the defining partnership of 77, nearly taking their side to victory before Ogborne picked up a deserved wicket dismissing Ellison for a hard hitting 44.

Bath would eventually get home with two overs and 5 wickets to spare in a tight game, taking advantage of the favourable conditions obtained from winning the toss. For Bridgwater, Will Williams was once again outstanding with the ball, taking 3-34 with Max Toohey (0-45) and Ogborne (1-55) not returning the figures they probably deserved.