Calamitous Clevedon come up just short after collapse

PUBLISHED: 08:30 31 July 2019

Connor Crane appeals for a wicket (pic Jason Crane)

Connor Crane appeals for a wicket (pic Jason Crane)

Archant

Ashen faces were the order of the day as humiliated Clevedon slunk away at the end of yet another abysmal display of batting.

Clevedon's Greg Willows in batting action (pic Jason Crane)Clevedon's Greg Willows in batting action (pic Jason Crane)

A one-run loss to Cheltenham plunged the defending WEPL champions even deeper into a relegation-threatened slough of despair with five games left.

Due to rain play was reduced to 40 overs per side and it came as some surprise when the hosts opted to bat first.

Speedster Danny Williams thoroughly enjoyed the gloomy conditions by ripping the home side's top order to shreds on his way to recording figures of 5-30 from eight overs.

Meanwhile, Will Thirkell (2-16) and Masoor Khan (2-8) were virtually unplayable as the hosts staggered to a miserly 124 all out from just 32 overs.

With such a paltry target to chase down it seemed inconceivable that the visitors would be unable to secure maximum points - but never underestimate Clevedon's ability to turn gold into straw.

At 57-5, following the departures of Khan (6), Greg Willows (7), Connor Crane (11), Harry Ellison (7) and Adnan Mufti (16), the storm cones were hoisted.

But then a carefully crafted stand of 50 between captain Jake Lintott (29) and Will Carpenter (20) elevated the score to 107-5 with eight overs remaining in which to knock off just 18 runs.

At this point an attempted slog sweep by the skipper served only to loop a simple catch round the corner and, not to be outdone, Carpenter followed suit by offering up an easy chance with the score still on 107.

Cam Harding came and went for just two, before Thirkell hoisted an enormous six out of the ground to keep hopes alive.

But then, with just two runs required for victory, Thirkell opted to repeat the dose only to be stumped with one over remaining.

Williams did his best to come up with goods but he was caught at the wicket, leaving Cheltenham to go into paroxysms of delight while the visitors prepared to receive a few softly spoken words from coach Piers McBride.

League leaders Potterne visit Dial Hill on Saturday.

Latest standings (13 matches): Potterne 229 points; Bath 205; Bedminster 189; Bridgwater 185; Downend 159; Cheltenham 157; Lansdown 142; Clevedon 132; Bristol 118; Taunton SA 107.

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