PORTLAND SECONDS 174-7 (11pts) lost to ABBOTSBURY 177-9 (18pts) by one wicket

ABBOTSBURY emerged victorious in a nail-biting finish against Portland Seconds in County Division Four.

Swans’ skipper Simon Pengelly’s poor form with the toss continued and Portland opted to bat first in the Abbotsbury heat.

Dave Adkins and David Males gave the away side a solid platform with an opening partnership of 67 until Chas Duerdoth (3-30) nipped out the defence-minded Males (16) but Adkins (72) continued to prosper as the score reached three figures without further loss.

Pengelly (3-40) brought himself on to bowl which was rewarded with the scalp of the opener and then followed two quick wickets as Cameron Midgley (5) holed out to the safe hands of Simon Pittman and Elliott Gunn (1-27) bowled Riley for a duck.

Portland were now wobbling at 112-4 but Andrew West clubbed some fine shots for a quickfire 30 and Joe Adkins (30) contributed a similar amount to push the score on.

Another flurry of wickets raised Abbotsbury’s hopes of maximum bowling points but Jack Marsh (12no) helped Portland finish on 174-7 after 40 overs.

In reply, Pengelly (8) struck a couple of early boundaries but edged to slip off the bowling of Jon Cameron (1-18).

Ashley Harrow (20) had been promoted to opener, and in partnership with the incoming Nick Kneebone prevented further loss until the 19th over when Kneebone (23) fell to the off-spin of Marsh (2-50) with the score on 60.

Pete Bustin (0) departed the following ball and opener Harrow’s stalwart innings was ended by Cornish as the pendulum swung Portland’s way with four wickets down and over a 100 still required.

However, the swinging blade of Duerdoth started to ruffle Portland’s feathers and with Simon Pittman in support, edged the match back in the Swans’ favour.

However, Portland hit back as Duerdoth (44) succumbed to an impressive running catch on the boundary, and the match was firmly in Portland’s court as Joe Adkins (4-25) ran through the lower order to leave the Swans relying on the questionable batting prowess of Grafton Straker to support Pittman with still another 20 runs required.

As tension mounted, Abbotsbury edged towards their target, Straker (3no) swished and invariably missed until connecting with one only to be dropped at square leg.

Pittman, who was not wearing a helmet, was felled when an attempted hook shot deflected on to his forehead but showed great determination to continue, and it was Pittman (23no) who landed the final blow in creaming a magnificent shot to the cover boundary with two balls to spare and secure victory for the jubilant Swans.