MARTINSTOWN II 191 (12pts) lost to ABBOTSBURY 199-8 (20pts) by eight runs

ABBOTSBURY came out on top by eight runs in a tremendous climax at Martinstown Seconds in County Division Three.

On a sunny afternoon in the idyllic surroundings of Lower Ashton Farm, Alex Drew joined Ashley Harrow to form the opening batting pair for the Swans and they got off to a good start with Harrow looking particularly fluent with some delicious shots cut through the covers to the boundary rope.

However, Harrow (18) fell to a slightly contentious lbw decision in the fourth over to the bowling of Ryan Blair (1-18) which resulted in a slowing of the scoring rate.

Kynan Brian (5) was next to depart, bowled by home skipper Charlie Andrews (2-31) but the incoming James Butler (17) added some impetus with a couple of sixes before being dismissed in identical fashion by Andrews to leave the score at 77-3 in the 18th over.

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Drew was looking in fine form however and with the free-scoring Chas Duerdoth at the crease the Abbotsbury score moved on to 135 before Duerdoth (23) spooned an Ed Nichols (2-32) delivery to point, Blair taking the catch.

Drew anchored the Abbotsbury innings superbly with an excellent half-century and moved on to 71 before finally being beaten by Ed Maltby (3-53) and despite a late flurry of wickets some cracking shots by Harry Testa-Fisher (12) and Pankaj Nikale (7) down the order helped push the finishing total to 199-8, which was also boosted by 28 extras.

In reply the Swans got off to a fantastic start as the fiery Chas Duerdoth (2-19) roared in with two wickets in the first over, Finlay Williams (1) and Nichols (0) the victims.

However, Martinstown’s Jack Kane and Stuart Dawson fought back strongly with a series of boundaries to revive the innings while adding 82 for the third wicket though Kane had a life when put down at gully when Kneebone was unable to cling on to a catch on the run.

It was the dependable Elliot Gunn (2-48) who provided the breakthrough by bowling Dawson (30) and then off spinner Butler (2-27) joined the action with a brace, the first wicket aided by a tremendous catch out in the deep by Ashley Harrow to remove Charlie Ball (10).

Opener Kane (64) was still there though and was looking immovable until spinner Pankaj Nikale (2-29) induced a faint edge that keeper David Worsdell juggled but clung on to for the sixth wicket and with 65 runs still required the Swans’ victory hopes were revived.

However with Blair and talented youngster Ry Gerety at the crease the required run rate was being easily met and despite the loss of Blair (18), the incoming Andrews continued adding crucial runs.

With four overs remaining Martinstown required 21 and though they lost Andrews (12) in an erratic over from Drew (1-27), the deficit was reduced to nine runs from the final three overs with two wickets in hand.

However, in a dramatic 38th over Gerety (22) fell caught and bowled to Gunn and a disastrous mix-up between Marcus Daubeney (0no) and Ed Maltby (4) led to the latter being run out to gift victory to the rapturous Swans.

*This season Abbotsbury CC are sponsored by Brace of Butchers of Poundbury


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