Sarisbury go to indoor finals
Sarisbury were convincing winners at the regional finals in Somerset CCC’s Centre of Excellence in Taunton, after a contest involving Werrington in Cornwall, Swindon and local side Bridgewater.
All sides were given enthusiastic support from their fans who travelled from around the south despite torrential rain that swept through the region.
In the opening match, Werrington started their innings at a rapid rate against the Swindon attack, scoring 37 in the first three overs but the fall of two quick wickets without any addition to the score followed by three more dismissals found the Werrington innings in disarray at 61 for five.
This left Smeeth with nearly five overs to face on his own and with sensible batting he was able to take the Werrington total to 95, assisted by Swindon's bowlers who contributed 21 wides to the total.
In reply, Werrington did their best to make things difficult for Swindon and tried to build pressure with some accurate bowling which kept extras down to just eight. However the low total enabled Swindon to pace their innnings and they appeared to be cruising to victory with the total on 61 after six overs.
Although the loss of three wickets without any addition to the score caused jitters in the Swindon camp, Werrington’s bowlers were unable to press home the advantage and Swindon eased past their total for no further loss with two overs to spare.
In the second match, Sarisbury batted first and in the absence of any opportunity for big hitting, thanks to some consistent accuracy from Bridgewater's bowlers, took to running aggressively between the wickets to keep the scoreboard ticking over.
These tactics raised the risk of a run out and three of their batsmen fell in this way. From 50 for three, they were led to a par total of 114 for four by Humby (33 not out) and Ducellier (21).
From past experience at this venue, this was a good score but not necessarily a match-winning total. From the start of the Bridgwater innings it was evident, they would have to come up with something special to pass the Sarisbury total as the bowling was tight and was backed up by some enthusiastic fielding.
Despite the best efforts of Davies (40), Bridgwater were never really in the hunt and the pressure told, as they collapsed from 61 for two after nine overs to 76 all out.
In the final, Sarisbury were well contained in the early stages by the tidy Swindon attack.
After seven overs Sarisbury had only mustered 56 for one but in the last five overs, an onslaught took the score to a challenging 126 for five.
The main contributors this time were Orr (33) and Hammond (29 not out).
Once again Swindon contributed generously to their opponents score, gifting Sarisbury 26 runs in total but this looked incidental as Swindon raced away to 27 for one in the first three overs.
But in the next two overs, the wheels came off their challenge as they collapsed dramatically to 38 for five. This left Spencer nearly seven overs to score 89 runs single-handedly to win the match for his side.
For the next four overs, Sarisbury nerves were tested to the extreme as an unlikely run-chase was made to look more and more possible with some judicious shot selection and brisk running.
Eventually a risky single led to the run out that brought Swindon's innings to a close on 88, an emphatic 38 runs short of Sarisbury's target of 127 though Spencer notched up a half century before he departed.