Classy Clevedon's WEPL title defence off to stylish start

PUBLISHED: 17:00 09 May 2019

Greg Willows hits out for Clevedon (pic Jason Crane)

Greg Willows hits out for Clevedon (pic Jason Crane)

Archant

Clevedon began the defence of their WEPL title with a comfortable six-wicket win over Taunton St Andrews, writes Piers McBride Snr.

A classy run-a-ball 86 not out from 19-year-old Greg Willows led them home, after several impressive performances in a high quality team display.

Having won the toss the hosts chose to bat on a rather slow, low pitch and Dan Williams dismissed home skipper James Rew for just four as debutant Jack Harding held on to a difficult catch.

Somerset top-order batsman Ed Byrom joined prodigious James Regan but the pair found it hard going as Matt Carpenter extracted what little life there was in the track and put on 48 before young Harding struck twice in rapid succession, courtesy of the safe hands of Matt Carpenter in the deep and skipper Jake Lintott.

The obdurate Byrom dropped anchor, but stood virtually alone as Clevedon's varied attack was happy to whittle away at the other end.

A fired-up Carpenter finally sent Taunton's number three packing, courtesy of a well-judged catch by Mas Khan, after the defiant left hander had made 77 from 110 deliveries.

Clevedon's out cricket was of the highest order, with a spectacular catch in the deep from Carpenter defying description, as the home side were dismissed for 182.

Wickets were shared between Dan Williams (1-30), Carpenter (3-32), Harding (2-26) and spinners Will Thurkell (2-36) and Lintott (2-26), who bowled 10 parsimonious overs apiece.

But the visitors lost Thirkell for just five after tea, before England under-19 Willows assumed total control and the runs flowed.

Willows hit three sixes and 11 fours in a sublime innings as Masoor Khan (25), Harry Ellison (19) and captain Lintott (22 from just two overs) helped Clevedon to their target with 19 overs in hand as the champions cruised home.

Connor Crane was confident and assured behind the stumps in his new wicketkeeping role and the 21 points gained take Clevedon to the top of the fledgling table.

Bristol come to call at Dial Hill on Saturday with play starting at 12.30 pm.

Results: Bath (20 pts) beat Bedminster (8) by 43 runs; Bridgwater (20) bt Bristol (7) by 28 runs; Potterne (16) bt Cheltenham (6) by 2 wkts; Downend (17) bt Lansdown (7) by 17 runs.

Standings: Clevedon 21; Bath 20; Bridgwater 20; Downend 17; Potterne 16; Bedminster 8; Bristol 7; Lansdown 7; Cheltenham 6; Taunton St Andrews 5.

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