WEPL Somerset Division
Wembdon 104-2 beat North Petherton 101 by eight wickets

THE first derby of the 2017 WEPL Somerset Division season between Wembdon and North Petherton ended with the hosts claiming the bragging rights thanks to a comfortable eight-wicket win on Saturday, writes Dan Bingham.

Wembdon won the toss and, under grey skies, asked Petherton to bat first.

The home attack made early inroads as Jon Brockwell removed Lloyd Irish with just the second ball of the innings.

Matt Hubbard removed Paul Short the next over and Wembdon were off to a great start having sent both Pethy openers back to the pavilion without scoring.

After a brief rain interruption, prolific run scorer and South African Brad Porteous was joined at the crease by Dutch international and Somerset pro Paul van Meekeren.

With this likely to be a match-defining partnership, Wembdon battled hard but had to be patient until, in the ninth over, van Meekeren mistimed one to Sam Puddy in the covers and departed for 11.

Five overs later, Hubbard dismissed Porteous, well caught by Pigden at gully for 36, which turned out to be the top score of the innings.

North Petherton had reached 57-4 from 14 overs but, thereafter, wickets fell at regular intervals.

Brockwell (2-21) and Hubbard (2-42) impressed, while the spin of Sam Puddy took 3-10, but the pick of the Wembdon bowlers was Josh Henry, who returned figures of 8 overs, 4 maidens, 3 wickets, 8 runs.

Only Ali Bunce offered any resistance in the lower order as Petherton were all out for a miserly 101 in the 30th over.

North Petherton’s strike bowlers came out firing following the short break with van Meekeren bowling a very lively opening spell.

His frustration was shared by his Petherton team-mates as opening pair Dan Bingham (23) and Jae Stone (42) shared another half-century opening stand.

After 15 overs, tea was taken and Wembdon were firmly in control without losing a wicket.

A heavier spell of rain halted proceedings but, when play eventually resumed, the opening pair reached 58 in the 19th over when Bingham mistimed a pull and was caught off the bowling of Bunce.

Stone carried on for another eight overs partnering Puddy for 32 more runs before Bunce once again had Stone caught.

Puddy and skipper Brockwell saw the team home for a comprehensive eight-wicket victory with 20 overs remaining.

Match sponsor: Maxwell Chartered Accountants.

Wembdon 1st XI travel to newly-promoted Temple Cloud on Saturday.