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Strong bowling display earns another home win for Frome XI

FROME 1st XI produced another resilient display to make it six wins in a row at home to rivals Westlands on Saturday 20th July.

After winning the toss Westlands had no hesitation in asking Frome to bat on a green-looking wicket; the visitors made early inroads to the Frome batting.

First to go was Stonell, who couldn’t repeat his heroics of the previous week as he was caught at slip for 5. Bleakley and Cantrell batted through to 10 overs before Cantrell departed LBW for 7. New man Smith then joined Bleakley and together the pair began to settle the innings, taking the score to 56 at the 17 over drinks break.

Shortly after drinks with the score on 64 and Bleakley beginning to dominate, he was caught at mid on off Bond for 40. From there Frome lost Dan Dredge and Lowe quickly, and by the 30th over both Neal and Wheeler departed quickly to leave the home side in all sorts of trouble at 104-7.

Hamblin joined the unbeaten Smith, and together they looked to salvage something from the innings, batting cautiously and nudging the total towards 130 with 10 overs remaining. Smith passed an excellent half century, as the pair began to work the ball around and score more freely, and Smith gradually began to punish anything wayward for six over deep backward square.

The score moved passed 150 with six overs remaining, before Frome sensed the Westlands heads begin to drop and duly punished them, taking 50 from the last five overs to post a brilliant 207-7 from a seemingly hopeless position. Smith finished on a brilliant unbeaten 78, while Hamblin was 33 not out.

In reply Westlands took the score to 24 despite Frome finding some early swing, before Hurlock (8) was first to depart when he was caught by Cantrell off Wheeler. Hallam joined the dangerous Davis and together the pair played steadily, but were kept in check by some tight bowling from Craig Dredge and Mark Sanger. With the score on 43 Dredge made the crucial breakthrough, as Davis was well caught by Lowe for 12. 43-2 quickly became 57-4 as Mark Sanger trapped Boucher (0) LBW and Hallam (18) caught by Hamblin at slip.

Ford became Sanger’s third victim when he was caught by Dredge for 5, and Westlands looked a long way from chasing down the 207 required for victory. But skipper Reeves took the attack back to Frome, and as McCabe played steadily in support, Reeves cleared the boundary three times to take the score past 100 and give Westlands hope.

With 100 still needed from 20 overs Frome knew they would need to be patient, and this paid dividends when Hamblin – replacing the miserly Craig Dredge – bowled Reeves for 28. A few lusty blows from the talkative Bond kept Westlands interested, but when he ran past one and was stumped by Smith off Hamblin to the delight of the home side, the Westlands challenge was all but up.

At the other end an excellent spell of cutters from Bleakley was keeping the rate rising quickly, and he was rewarded with the last three wickets to fall as Frome wrapped up another impressive victory by 73 runs.

A strong bowling display saw Mark Sanger and Bleakley finish with three wickets each, plus Hamblin who helped himself to two alongside Dredge whose 10 overs cost just 21 runs.

The match was sponsored by Tony and Pete.



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