CRICKET: Duane gets off to a flying start

AT THE HELM: New Bridport skipper Duane Gay

AT THE HELM: New Bridport skipper Duane Gay

First published in Sport Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Reporter

CHRISTCHURCH SECONDS 188 (7pts) lost to BRIDPORT 190-7 (20pts) by 3 wickets

DUANE Gay’s tenure as Bridport captain got off to a winning start in Christchurch.

With openers Mark Smith and Sam Challis putting on 102 for the first wicket, the visitors appeared to be cruising to victory in reply to the hosts’ total of 188.

But a mini collapse, which saw Gay dismissed for a duck, gave the home side a glimmer of hope.

However, Rod Gay rescued his son’s team and hit the winning runs with three wickets to spare.

And it was an eventful match for Ollie Lee, Bridport’s top wicket taker on the day with figures of 4-30.

The youngster sustained what turned out to be a fractured finger when he made contact with the umpire while sending down a delivery.

He could well miss the rest of the season as a result of the freak injury.

Nonetheless, Bridport’s new skipper was a happy man following his team’s triumph, though he will want to score some runs of his own when Kingston Lacy are in west Dorset on Saturday.

“We looked in control from the beginning but then two youngsters came in for them and batted really well,” he said.

“We bowled well too, especially Ollie Lee, then Mark and Sam put on 102 and we were cruising.

“At one point we needed 37 runs with nine wickets remaining, but then we had a collapse.

“It was my dad who hit the winning runs with a couple of fours.”

He added: “It was nice to get a win and there is a good team spirit in the squad.

“We’ve got some players back from university now but you don’t want to change a winning team.”

Challis, Liam Toohill and Rod Gay also shared six Christchurch wickets between after the hosts won the toss and batted first.

They were floundering on 27-5 before a sixth-wicket stand of 128 helped get them to 188.

Smith (43) and Challis (83) batted superbly in reply, though it got a bit hairy for Bridport until Rod Gay got them over the line.

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