Somerset Over 50s make it a double over Wiltshire
Somerset Over 50s B team notched up the double over Wiltshire when they beat their neighbours by two wickets at Winterbourne Cricket Club, near Salisbury on Sunday.
The start of the game was held up because of problems on the A303, but when it did get underway Wiltshire won the toss and decided to bat.
The wicket was dry with a good bit of grass, producing some movement and variable bounce from the start. Keith Graddon (Timberscombe) caused all sorts of problems with his pace and was unlucky not to get a wicket, but the Wiltshire openers toughed it out and managed to get to 68 before Jeffrey was bowled by Nigel Brock (Leigh-on-Mendip) for 19.
Ed Martin (Kilve) gave Brock his second wicket and made it 99-2. Alleyne played some classy shots but with the score on 112, he went after Richard Kent (Cheddar) only to find the safe hands of Everton Griffith (Hinton Charterhouse) at extra cover for 21.
Bathe was trapped lbw by Kent to make it 125-4 and when Hunter was bowled by Griffith, Wiltshire were struggling a little at 134-5 after 37 overs. Some positive batting was required and Doyle and Aitkin started knocking the ball about, putting on 59 in just over seven overs. Their partnership was finally broken at the death when Aitken was run out by Ian Chadwick (Banwell and Churchill) as they tried one second run too many.
Only three more runs were added before Wiltshire closed on 196, with Doyle on 40 not out off 29 balls.
In the circumstances Somerset did well to restrict them to under 200, helped by some tight bowling from Graddon and Chris Golding (North Curry) who each conceded only 24 off their nine over spells.
Wiltshire responded with some extremely disciplined bowling which saw some swing and seam. Somerset got off to a terrible start when Alistair Barr (Shapwick and Polden) was trapped lbw by Morris in the first over and Chadwick followed in the sixth over when he edged behind off Wells to make it 4-2.
Matters got worse when Kent was caught by Hunter off Morris and two runs later, Griffiths was caught by Aitken off Wells to leave Somerset reeling on 23 for four. The Wiltshire openers bowled straight through and maintained their grip, restricting the visitors to 35 off the first 18 overs.
Captain Julian Harvey (Leigh-on-Mendip) and Rob Weight (Valkreys) had battled through a difficult period and runs started to flow after the change bowlers came on. The pair gradually accelerated the scoring and put on 89 before Weight was run out for 33 to make it 112 for five in the 31st over.
Harvey was now getting into his stride and he was joined by Alan Wellman (Crewkerne). They put on another 40 in five overs before Harvey was caught by Alleyne off Samant for a superb 75 off 104 balls. At this point Somerset wanted 45 off just over eight overs and the required rate was coming down each over.
Wellman and Graddon continued the positive batting and after Wellman was bowled by Samant for a useful 35 off 29 balls, Somerset only needed 18 off the last five overs.
Wiltshire were trying to remain positive and their hopes were briefly raised when Graddon was bowled by Aitken with the score on 190, but Golding and Martin took them home with an over to spare.
Anyone interested in becoming involved with Somerset Over 50s Cricket should contact Roger Snelling on 01823 331892 or Ian Chadwick on 07889 926 506