ABBOTSBURY 208-6 (22pts) beat KINGSTON LACY 154 (7pts) by 54 runs

ABBOTSBURY returned to winning ways in County Division Three with a comfortable 54-run home victory over Kingston Lacy.

James Butler returned to the Abbotsbury team as a like-for-like replacement for the unavailable Simon Pengelly and opened the Swans' batting line-up alongside Pankaj Nikale, who was moved up the order by stand-in skipper Ashley Harrow.

However, the away side drew first blood as Nikale (5) was removed by Les Small (2-42) and the same bowler induced Nick Kneebone (5) into an edge behind as Abbotsbury made a stuttering start to the innings.

Butler, however, was getting into his stride and together with this season’s most improved batter Kynan Brian (36) put together a fruitful partnership.

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With a previous high score of only 23 for Abbotsbury’s Saturday team since joining the club last season, Butler (85) finally flowered with an array of glorious attacking shots in an innings that contained 15 boundaries including three sixes before he was eventually bowled by Paul Cox (3-54).

That brought Chas Duerdoth to the crease, the all-rounder smashing a quickfire 29 before swinging at one that kept a little low, Cox again the successful bowler.

Harrow chipped in with 11 runs but the Abbotsbury total was pushed over the 200 mark in the final few overs by Simon Pittman (23) with support from Rob Thomas (8).

Chasing 208, Kingston Lacy suffered an early setback as Duerdoth (3-15) roared in to bowl Nick Lewis for a duck.

A fired-up Duerdoth found an edge that flew through the slip region but soon gained another wicket by castling Andy Thompson (11).

At the other end, fellow pacer Avid Alam (0-14) bowled a superb line and length to restrict the scoring and Brian (1-37), coming in as first change in the attack, produced an absolute beauty in his second over as late inswing defeated a bewildered James Parks (12).

When Duerdoth clean bowled Marc Wells (4) in his final over, Kingston Lacy were struggling at 60-4 and with the introduction of wily spinner Pankaj Nikale (4-14) into the attack more wickets soon followed.

John Burns (33) threatened for the away side however and Thomas took an important catch when safely clutching a swirling skier.

Elliot Gunn (2-27) also grabbed a brace which included a smart caught and bowled.

While somewhat less controlled bowling later in the innings assisted Steve Maine low down in the order in accumulating a top score of 40, the re-introduction of Nikale swiftly saw his demise and the end of Lacy’s resistance as the Swans collected maximum points.

Abbotsbury reach the halfway point in the season with an away game at Poole Thirds today (1.30pm).