ABBOTSBURY 132 (6pts) lost to STURMINSTER & HINTON 132-7 (20pts) by three wickets

ABBOTSBURY suffered a narrow three-wicket defeat in a low-scoring encounter with visitors Sturminster & Hinton in County Division Three.

Abbotsbury won the toss and chose to bat on a damp surface for openers Alex Drew and Nick Kneebone.

The pitch and some accurate bowling contributed resulted in a slow start to the innings and a partnership of 20 was ended when Chris Job (2-17) bowled Alex Drew (10) through the gate.

The free-hitting Pankaj Nikale was pushed up the order to add some impetus and he obliged with two sixes creamed over mid-wicket during a quickfire innings of 28 before being pinned lbw by AJ Rose (1-32).

At 70-2 the Swans were set to push on but Kneebone’s glacial innings of 20 was ended in the 20th over when he misjudged the slow loop of Sam Scott’s (1-20) first ball of his spell and was bowled.

READ MOREAwesome Abbotsbury bowl opponents out for 36

Skipper David Worsdell contributed 22 in the middle order but wickets began to fall at increasingly frequent intervals as the home side subsided to 119-6 and finally crumbled to 132 all out in the 38th over.

In reply, Sturminster opener Henry Porter (13) was in no mood for defence as some big swings of the bat reaped two boundaries from the first over.

However, he was also the beneficiary of two dropped catches in the opening overs as skied efforts were spilled by Simon Pittman and Kneebone respectively but he soon succumbed when Drew claimed a well-judged catch at long mid-off.

Austin Cornell (14) and the incoming Adrian Rose moved the score on to 43 before a superb low catch from Nikale brought the end of Cornell, Elliot Gunn (2-16) the successful bowler.

A middle order collapse sparked renewed optimism for the Swans as a second wicket from Gunn and a wicket apiece to Harry Testa-Fisher and Drew (1-26), the latter with a fizzing delivery that clipped the bails of Sam Scott (0), saw the away side struggling at 57-5 as the run rate was reduced to a trickle.

However, another catching opportunity was spurned which would have removed Rose (43no) while the incoming Harley Barnes (29) released the pressure with three maximums, before being bowled by Nikale (2-32).

Kneebone (1-13) joined the attack with his occasional leg spin and was rewarded with the wicket of Job (8) as the batsman’s wild swing only resulted in an outside edge to Pittman at gully.

Yet, the Swans did not have enough runs to play with and a six by Joe Peters (11) off Testa-Fisher (1-43) saw Sturminster & Hinton over the line in the 34th over.

*Abbotsbury main sponsor: Brace of Butchers