WEPL Somerset
North Petherton (193-8) beat Chard (192-7) by two wickets

NORTH Petherton kicked off their 2017 WEPL Somerset campaign with a nailbiting win after edging past Chard on Saturday.

Having lost the toss and been asked to field, Pethy made an early breakthrough when new addition Paul van Meekeren - fresh from helping Somerset defeat Glamorgan on Friday - had Robert Glentworth caught behind for 8.

Van Meekeren went on to take 2-28, while Ian Blackwell finished with 2-11 from 10 miserly overs of spin.

Brad Porteous (1-50) and Scott Briffett (1-27) were also in the wickets, while wicketkeeper Lloyd Irish claimed three stumpings to go with his early catch.

Irish then got Pethy’s reply off to a flyer with 41 from just 20 balls, but the visitors were losing wickets regularly and found themselves indebted to Porteous’ 54 which anchored the run chase.

When Porteous was eventually dismissed and Blackwell followed him shortly afterwards for a duck, Pethy were still 21 short of victory on 172-6, but Owen Irish hit four 4s and three 6s in his invaluable 48 to help the side close in on victory.

Irish could not quite finish the job, however, as he was clean bowled with Pethy still requiring seven and Chard needing just two wickets.

With the game on a knife edge, it was left to Briffett and Lewis Knight (3*) to get the visitors over the line and record an opening day victory which earned them 17 points in total.

This Saturday, North Petherton play their first home match of the campaign as they welcome Temple Cloud to Heathfield Park.