Failand edge thriller by four runs

PUBLISHED: 14:45 29 June 2011

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Failand and Portbury hold out to beat Stoke Bishop by four runs.

FAILAND 1st XI squeezed home by just four runs against Stoke Bishop in their latest league match.

Simon Bachelor (54) and McArthur (62) made a rapid start, aided by an off-line attack and missed catches and got to 97-0 at drinks. Bachelor then fell and the pace slowed against spinners Waller and Kannan. Ed Humphreys (44) and Henry Humphreys (24 not out) upped the rate and, with 134 runs from the last 15, a 250 total looked substantial for Stoke Bishop to chase.

In reply, Stoke were reduced to 80-4, but Dan Watkins was always a threat. 110 were needed from 11 overs and then 56 from five. Watkins was dismissed for 91, but Smith (24 not out) and Cooley (24 not out) reduced the target to 17 off the last over, but they fell four runs short.

Tom Isom and George Humphreys took two wickets each, but in the end the difference between the sides was the fielding, Stoke put down five catches, while Failand took three good ones and two sharp run outs.

■ With 15 regulars missing, Failand 2nd XI took to the field with two debutantes and four North Somerst XI players, but still notched up a 59 run win.

Losing his sixth league toss of the year, Mark Day’s Failand were put in on an uneven and damp pitch. At 47-4 it was looking grim for the visitors, but Day (38) and Roman Lagnado (100 not out) steadied the ship with a 79 run fifth wicket partnership.

Lagnado batted superbly for 35 overs for his century and showed Failand what they’ve missed while he’s been away. Good quick runs were scored by Ahmad (11) and Jamie Fear (16) at the end to project the score.

Stapleton started slowly in reply with good inroads from Steve Fear (1-36), Jamie Fear (1-26) and Day (1-20), leaving the home side on 99-3, despite several catches put down.

A late change of the bowling made the difference and debutant Sajjad with five wickets and Bob Andrews (1-20) wrapped up the tail, taking seven wickets in nine overs to grab full points.

■ Following last weeks exciting tie against the league leaders, Failand thirds continued their fine form with a convincing victory against second placed Bear Flat by 31 runs.

Failand slipped to 56-3 before Chris Smith joined Sam Gunarathne to steady the innings. The former was dismissed for a solid 35 and the rest of the innings was all about one man. Following last week’s unbeaten 97, the in-form batsman reached a steady 40 after 30 overs.

An astonishing batting display saw a flurry of boundaries flow from his bat. He and Dan Chapman added an unbeaten 99 runs from just 44 balls to see Failand reach 248-4 from their 40 overs. Chapman’s contribution was just nine runs.

Gunarathne scored a blistering 95 runs in the final 10 overs on the new enlarged boundaries at Failand to end on 135 not out including 11 sixes and seven fours.

The Bears struggled to reach the required run rate throughout their innings to end 217-7. Steve Fear was economical with 1-23 from his eight overs and skipper Steve Pursey claimed 2-35.

The highlight was a fine fielding performance by Failand’s Dan Simson.

■ On Sunday, Failand won the toss and batted first against Congresbury. Paul Bachelor (32) and Ivor Chivers (7) opened the batting before Paul was out in the 31st over with the score on 76.

John Skinner (20) joined Mitch Francuz (56 not out) to bring some respectability to the score as they put on 64 in eight overs to bring the score to 142-4.

After tea, the star for Congresbury was 14-year-old James Vowles (84), who almost won the game single handedly, but a good ball from Paul Duffy saw him caught behind by Ivor Chivers.

Congresbury reached the target in 31 overs, but for some tight bowling from Sajjad (1-19 off eight) and John Meredith (1-22 off eight) the score would have been achieved much sooner.

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