Clevedon put in their place by champions-in-waiting Potterne as battle continues
PUBLISHED: 17:00 06 August 2019
It was a case of business as usual at Dial Hill as Clevedon's batting let them down and WEPL champions-in-waiting Potterne glided to victory with 10 overs to spare.
Batting first against the most hostile opening attack in the league in Basil Akram and Tahir Afridi, Clevedon's Masoor Khan and a belligerent Harry Ellison weather the early storm with an opening stand of 54.
But there was nothing much more than smoke and mirrors after that as Khan went for nine and was followed with indecent haste by Nick Carpenter, Jacob Lintott and Greg Willows for a combined total of five.
While wickets tumbled all around him Ellison continued to bat with serene confidence - it was a bit like watching England's World Cup winners at one end and the Brick Street Mission third XI at the other.
Having collapsed from 54-0 to 69-4, Clevedon rallied when Adnan Mufti -who hit six fours in his 41 - joined forces with the sublime Ellison to put on 72 for the fifth wicket.
Ellison hit eight fours in his 72, but once the pair were parted it was left to Danny Williams, who hit four fours in his 28 off 15 balls, to salvage what he could from the tail and take the final total to 199-9, within touching distance an extra batting point.
The combined 20 overs shared without a break by Akram and Afridi were a joy to watch, providing you were an unbiased spectator, as they accounted for Clevedon's top order with combined bowling figures of 5-74.
There was a brief period of exultation for the home side as Williams and Cam Harding shared the wickets of the visiting openers for just 19, but it was tough going after that as Potterne displayed their batting pedigree.
Partnerships of 57, 71 and 36 runs lined the path to a four-wicket victory with 10 overs remaining, with only Williams (1-44 off 10) and Matt Carpenter (2-29 off 10) making any type of impact.
So the die is now cast, with three teams embroiled in the tangled net of relegation. There was some solace for Clevedon in that all three lost last weekend and up next is a trip to Lansdown on Saturday.
Latest standings (14 matches): Potterne 249 pts; Bath 225; Bedminster 209; Bridgwater 185; 5 Downend 177; Chelteham 176; Lansdown 163; Clevedon 138, Bristol 125; Taunton SA 111.