Bridgwater through to National Knockout quarter finals after two-wicket-win over South Wilts (From This is The West Country)
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Bridgwater through to National Knockout quarter finals after two-wicket-win over South Wilts
Bridgwater skipper Mike Coles praised his side after they progressed to the quarter-finals of the National Knockout national stages for the first time since 2005.
Home side South Wilts posted 159-4, despite the perfect start and two wickets from opening bowler Ian Bishop in the first over.
Bridgwater were cruising in reply but a flurry of wickets meant it was left to Ed Habberfield to hold his nerve and score the winning runs off the last ball to spark the celebrations.
Coles said: “It was the perfect start and he [Ian Bishop] got the ball swinging early on and used it.
“We were in a good position chasing but, in the end, we did it the normal Bridgy way.
“I would have liked batsmen to take some responsibility but we won and everything is going well in both league (see report, page 79) and cup at the moment.”
Southern League leaders South Wilts, based in Salisbury, won the toss and decided to bat but the unplayable Bishop tormented their top order, leaving them 7-3 and him with superb figures of 3-10 off nine overs.
Yet another excellent Bridgwater bowling display had strangled the strong home side’s batting line-up, despite only losing four wickets as their batsmen never got on top of a very disciplined display.
Jack Mynott, who when in single figures survived a confident appeal for caught behind, ground out an unbeaten 78 to be the mainstay, while James Hayward, dropped without scoring off the unfortunate Bishop scored 35 and James Hibberd an unbeaten 33.
The slow pitch and outfield, combined with huge boundaries, meant Bridgwater found batting just as difficult, despite a bright star from Mitch Windsor (18) and, at 32-2, some consolidation was needed.
The obdurate Tom Clarke (41) and Chris Gange (36), in a pleasing return to form gave it, putting together a stand of 67 in good time.
When the latter fell and Mike Coles departed without troubling the scorers, soon to be followed by Stu Butt, the game was in the balance at 110-5 but all the visitors’ middle and lower order chipped in to inch their side closer to victory.
Bridgwater needed seven off the last over and two off the last ball until Habberfield (13no) obliged, gliding the ball very fine to the boundary to give his team victory in a tense run chase.
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Bridgwater will again be on the road in the last eight as they play the winners of Tunbridge Wells (Kent) or Wanstead and Snaresbrook (Essex). Were you at the game?...let us know your thoughts below.