ABBOTSBURY 122-8 (5pts) lost to STURMINSTER & HINTON 123-6 (18pts) by four wickets

FOLLOWING the opening weekend success on Portland, Abbotsbury suffered defeat in their first home game of the season in County Division Four against Sturminster & Hinton.

Swans’ skipper Simon Pengelly won the toss successfully and opted to bat first on an overcast afternoon.

However, it was the away side who landed the first blow when David Worsdell (0) was caught in the second over at short cover.

A combination of tight bowling and a very slow outfield conspired to suppress the run rate, although Pengelly (21) did briefly loosen the shackles with a six when Chris Job (1-13) pitched too short.

The dismissal of the skipper in the 16th over brought Kynan Brian (2) to the crease but when he edged behind three overs later the Swans were wobbling on 40-3.

The pugnacious Chas Duerdoth (13) opened his account with a maximum but edged Horne (2-25) behind and Ben Lucas departed for a duck, A J Rose clutching a return catch. At the other end Nick Kneebone (21) had been grittily repelling the Sturminster attack but a misjudged leave allowed a Rose (2-21) delivery to hit the top of off stump.

However, with the help of some spilled catches, the Abbotsbury tail wagged somewhat with Ashley Harrow (15) and Pete Bustin (23) loosening the shoulders. Frank Pittman (13) also contributed but the Swans fell just short of a third batting point at 122-8 after 40 overs.

Defending a modest total, Abbotsbury were hoping for an early breakthrough and it was Pete Bustin (2-18) who delivered when Andrew Beale (4) cut straight to Brian at point in the seventh over.

Chris Reed (18) hit three boundaries but was next to fall when he was bowled by Duerdoth (2-13) and the Abbotsbury paceman struck again when Lucas took an agile diving catch at short cover to remove Rose.

After Grafton Straker (2-18) struck in successive overs, wicketkeeper Harrow expertly pouched a thin edge low to his right to remove Laurence Moore (4) and, followed by Austen Cornell (1) playing on, the match outcome was in the balance at 62-5.

But the Abbotsbury attack was unable to maintain the pressure with the previously miserly Lucas seeing his final over dispatched for 18, Paul Fowles (44) causing most of the damage.

Chris Job (27) also weighed in with some quick runs and despite Fowles’ dismissal by Bustin the damage had been done as Sturminster won comfortably with eight overs to spare.


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