Congresbury fall just short

CONGRESBURY started strongly after winning the toss and fielding, taking two wickets in the first three overs as Bishopston stuttered to 2-2.

CONGRESBURY started strongly after winning the toss and fielding, taking two wickets in the first three overs as Bishopston stuttered to 2-2.

With the ball swinging and the wicket providing variable bounce, Luff and Hobson dug in. Although they rode their luck, with Danny Bullock having Luff caught off a no ball and what the fielding side considered a dubious bump-ball reprieve for Hobson, in tricky circumstances they accumulated runs carefully, taking the score to 52 before Danny bowled Hobson for 13.

From then on, only Luff came to grips with the conditions and it was really a case of whether Congresbury could claim his wicket and restrict Bishopston to a small total or whether Luff could steer them to something competitive. Despite the best efforts of the bowling side, with Daniel Bullock bowling an excellent spell of 1-17 off eight overs, and Sam Evans showing a lot of potential on his 1st X1 bowling debut with 2-38 off 13 overs, Luff batted well, opening out powerfully towards the end of his innings as he finished on 70 and Bishopston 146 all out.

Highlights in the field included Paul dropping his second catch since 1989, and Buddha Mangaldas elbowing Neil Frost out of the way to take what would have been a straightforward caught and bowled chance, after running all the way from deep backward point.

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Congresbury's reply started brightly with Clint Harding looking solid and Buddha playing one lovely lofted straight drive for four before his patience snapped and he had an enormous heave to be caught at deep midwicket. Clint was next to go, mistiming a pull, also to midwicket, after reaching 20. With Tim Baker out of sorts, and dismissed caught and bowled for five, Mike Fisher attempted a counter attack. While still at risk from the odd unpredictable delivery he managed to get to 40 and help take the total to 110 for 6 before he was adjudged caught behind.

Neal Frost and Steve Baker kept Congresbury in the hunt before they were finally dismissed for 132 with 10 balls remaining. Luff again proving the difference, claiming 5 for 29.

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This match saw Buddha Mangaldas's last game for Congresbury this season after being called up into a training camp for his state side in India. Buddha put in some good performances, taking 30 wickets in the League and scoring 185 (always exciting) runs this year. He has been an extremely positive influence off the field, particularly with the large amounts of time spent helping the club's youth division.

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