Cleeve come off second best to Long Ashton

PUBLISHED: 10:43 08 August 2018 | UPDATED: 10:43 08 August 2018

Sam Williams.

Sam Williams.

Archant

Cleeve missed out on a chance to move into second spot, losing to near neighbours Long Ashton by four wickets.

Cleeve 180

Long Ashton 181-6

With the top two teams playing each other, a win would put Cleeve into second place, so much was riding on this home fixture against Long Ashton.

The day started well with Cleeve’s skipper Glenn Lewin winning the toss and electing to bat. Lewin and Mitch Want opened, but in the second over, Want stretched for a wide ball to be caught at the third attempt by the keeper for 12 which brought Sam Williams to the crease.

Lewin was next to go, bowled for 29 in a partnership of 39. Nikhil Bhajipale was next in for Cleeve with the pair rotating the strike well before Williams was caught having just past 50, sharing a partnership of 79 with the total on 135-3.

All looked good as Cleeve’s batting has been performing well, but the wickets began to tumble at regular intervals. First Bhajipale exited the scene caught for 31, followed by the youngest Jones – Benjy, bowled for 14.

Older brother Dan soon followed, pulling a long hop into mid-wicket’s grateful hands. Dad Mark was next to go, adjudged lbw for six, while James Cole holed out for just two.

Jack Wilkins was caught and bowled one and Tom Carpenter was lbw, leaving Stuart Williams not out 0 without facing a ball.

With Cleeve’s usual opening bowlers unavailable, skipper Lewin grabbed the ball for the first over, with success with his first delivery of extra bounce, with the opening bat caught behind by keeper Carpenter.

Despite numerous bowling changes, Long Ashton showed Cleeve how to bat, despatching the bad balls, defending the good and picking off ones and twos without risking their wickets.

It was not until seventh bowler Jack Wilkins entered the fray that things began to happen picking up the remaining opening batsman lbw for 41.

Lewin, returning for a second spell at the other end, despatched Ed Wilson for 61, caught behind by Carpenter, as Lewin finished with figures of 2-39.

At 138-3, Cleeve felt there was half a chance as Wilkins’ inspired spell produced another three wickets ending on 4-34. However, it was not long before Long Ashton nudged over the line running out winners by four wickets in the 35th over.

Courtesy of Bath’s victory over Lodway, Cleeve remain third, five points off second spot. Top placed Bath will be hosted by Cleeve in a must win game to keep promotion chances alive.

Cleeve 2nd XI 228-4

Portishead 2nd XI 229-5

Batting first, veteran openers Charlie Grubb and Carey Elswood put on an opening stand of 156 for the first wicket against Portishead.

Grubb fell short of his second century of the season, caught out for 93 (11 fours and three sixes), soon followed by Elswood for 44. Dixon added another 10 before Andrew Martin scored a measured 19.

Will Hopkinson Parker (19) and veteran Lee Carpenter (8) were the not out batsmen as Cleeve totalled 228-4.

In reply, Cleeve opening pair of youngsters, Louis Ferris and Alex Grubb bowled well but ended wicketless. Dixon picked up one wicket Hopkinson-Parker another, as did skipper Parsons at the end.

But it was Cleeve’s gifted 51 runs in extras that lost the game in the final over, providing Portishead’s second highest score.

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