ABBOTSBURY 225 (11pts) lost to BROADSTONE II 251-8 (21pts) by 26 runs

ABBOTSBURY came up short in the opening fixture of the new County Division Three season as they lost by 26 runs to Broadstone Seconds.

With the visitors batting first at sunny Abbotsbury it was the opening pace attack of Avid Alam (1-43) and Chas Duerdoth who struck the first blows as Simon Leadbeater and Simon Wildbur were both tempted into thin edges to the keeper without scoring.

However, Broadstone opening batter Rich Poole (55) and the incoming Gary Smith (58) settled the visitors with a composed stand of 107, though not without the occasional slice of fortune as mistimed aerial shots split the fielders.

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Duerdoth (3-29) returned for a second spell to dismiss both batters as the Swans looked to regain control.

However the run rate was not dented in the remaining overs despite the efforts of Harry Testa-Fisher (2-19) and Simon Pengelly (2-18) with two wickets apiece and a consummate performance behind the stumps by skipper David Worsdell, who collected five catches from the eight wickets to fall.

Chasing a stiff target of 251 the Swans got off to a poor start as Alex Drew (0) was bowled off an inside edge and a comical run out followed as Nick Kneebone (1) paid for indecisiveness over a quick single.

Opener Pengelly was in imposing form, however, signalling his intent with a series of belligerent shots as he and Kynan Brian sought to repair the Abbotsbury innings.

The pair advanced the score to 123-2 before Brian was caught for 33 off the bowling of Daniel Smith (2-38).

While the free-scoring Duerdoth was now at the crease, the Swans suffered a blow at the other end as Pengelly was run out for a superb 86 and the momentum slowed as further wickets followed.

Duerdoth upped the ante with three maximums in his 61 but was dismissed caught with overs running out and Broadstone wrapped up the victory with the final wicket of Elliot Gunn (0) with one ball remaining to gain maximum points.

Abbotsbury’s next fixture is away to Bere Regis Seconds on Saturday (1.30pm).