ROYAL CHALLENGERS 66 (0pts) lost to ABBOTSBURY 68-1 (20pts) by nine wickets

ABBOTSBURY gave their County Division Four survival chances a boost as a devastating bowling performance laid the foundations for an easy nine-wicket win against Royal Challengers.

The hosts opted to bat first on a green wicket that was to offer plenty of assistance to the bowlers on a sunny afternoon at the Charborough Road venue in Broadstone.

With Chas Duerdoth spearheading the Abbotsbury attack, the Swans did not have to wait long for the first wicket as Joby Mathew (12) got a leading edge that looped up to cover, Pete Lawrence safely pouching a catch. But it came at a cost, resulting in a dislocated finger for the fielder who was able to continue but was ruled out of skipper Simon Pengelly’s bowling options.

It mattered little however as Duerdoth (5-15) was in particularly menacing form and immediately followed up by trapping Sanin Suresh plumb lbw for a golden duck and shortly afterwards bowling opener Aju Raphael (7).

Will Ripsher, in only his second appearance of the season for the Swans, joined the attack and further stifled the batsmen with a great line and length and movement off the seam.

Hitler Darwin struck a couple of boundaries in top scoring with 17 for the home side but wickets kept on tumbling as Ripsher (3-22) first dismissed Eldhose Elias (3) lbw, then accounted for Darwin and Sreeram Ponnapan (5).

Duerdoth added the wickets of Milton Jacob (4) and Eldho (0) to complete a five-wicket haul off eight overs while his replacement Grafton Straker (1-7) picked up the final wicket by bowling Gibu Baby (5) to see the Challengers skittled for 66.

Ashley Harrow was moved up the order to partner Simon Pengelly to open up the Swans’ reply but shortly after sending a sweetly-struck shot to the cover boundary Harrow (5) was defeated by a direct hit in attempting an ill-judged single and was run out.

However, this was to prove the only success for the fielding side as two catching chances to remove Pengelly (25no) were spurned and the incoming Nick Kneebone was also dropped in the slips.

Jiju Thomas was the most miserly of the Challengers attack in conceding only four runs off his three overs but the small target was reached in the 16th over as Kneebone (30no) smacked a straight six off Sreeram (0-14) to seal victory and an early finish.

Abbotsbury face bottom side Cerne Valley Seconds at home on Saturday, and currently lie 47 points and two places above them.


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