Last-ball victory for Belvedere

HAVING won the toss and electing to field, Belvedere produced one of their finest performances for many a year.

HAVING won the toss and electing to field, Belvedere produced one of their finest performances for many a year.

Fielding with 10 players after the unfortunate injury sustained to wicketkeeper Ray Dibben who broke his arm, Belvedere's opening bowlers Loud and Huxtable began well controlling the run rate. The introduction of spinner David Taylor (3-29) enabled Belvedere to make a breakthrough as Davis was well caught by stand-in wicketkeeper Gadd and Gundry soon perished.

Belvedere's superb fielding managed to prevent Westland from scoring quickly, thus resulting in the demise of Boucher, well caught by Loud on the boundary. All the bowlers bowled accurately, with Watts bowling well at the death (2-44) backed up by excellent ground fielding with Jones, Newman, Ashfield and Huxtable particularly impressive. Westland innings closed on 203-5.

In reply, Belvedere were reduced to 24-2. Gadd and Chadwick set about rebuilding the innings. A partnership of 113 for the third wicket was vital in ensuring Belvedere could launch a final push.

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Gadd (46) showed maturity beyond his years, showing excellent timing. The re-introduction of Montacute paid dividends as wickets began to flow. Jones and Watts batting unselfishly helped Chadwick to maintain the run rate in their search for victory. Chadwick began to dominate the Westland attack, mixing aggression with sensible running between wickets. With only 23 runs required from three overs, Chadwick was finally out for a well crafted 104 which included 12 fours and three sixes.

Sensible batting by Huxtable, Taylor and Loud (15) set up a thrilling finale with 12 needed off the last over. Having lost Huxtable and only scoring three off the first three balls, Westland looked favourites.

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However a huge six into the houses from Loud meant that three was needed from the last ball, home skipper Lee sent down the final ball for five wides, leaving Belvedere victors by three wickets with a ball to spare.

All Belvedere players wish Ray Dibben a speedy recovery from his injury. This was a fine all- round team performance with special mention for an excellent bowling spell by Taylor and a fine all-round performance by Andy Loud with Buildbase man of the match going to Chadwick.

After a good start to the innings from A Cooper (15), J Lodge (41) and I Tasker (31), Belvedere 2nd XI had a bad day with the next five wickets going for a combined score of 23.

It was left to the bowlers to get to a score they could defend. Veteren all-rounder Rob Statham led the comeback with a superb 54. supported well by M Hosey (15), but when Statham's wicket fell in the 45th over, Belvedere were left to defend 213.

Temple Cloud's innings got off to a slow start with Hosey and Statham giving the batsmen little and the fielders piling on pressure.

Things were looking good for Belvedere until the Temple Cloud middle order took control and despite the efforts of A Woodall with three wickets, they reached the total with two overs to spare.

Buildbase man of the match goes to Rob Statham for a great display with bat and ball.

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