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Frome cricketers up to second with 8 wicket win

Frome 1st XI (119-2) beat Wellington 1st XI (117 all out) by 8 wickets

FROME First XI’s winning run continued when they comprehensively demolished second-placed Wellington on Saturday 3rd August to leave themselves tied in second spot in the Somerset Division of the West of England Premier League.

With rain forecast Frome won what was to prove to be a good toss and elected to field, and opening bowlers Neal and Wheeler kept the home side in check with some tight bowling.

On what was a lightening outfield Frome did well to thwart the Wellington openers Goodman-Jones and Davies, and were eventually rewarded when Goodman-Jones was bowled by Neal, before the same bowler had Sparks caught by Dan Dredge three balls later to leave the score at 21-2. Tight bowling and sharp fielding continued into the 16th over when the rain came with the score at 38-2, and a return to the field 40 minutes later saw only two overs and six runs as the heavens opened again, this time heavily and for considerable time.

The players took what was an early and excellent tea and watched as the torrential rain poured, but with the wicket well covered the outfield dried quickly, and the sides returned to a match reduced to 34 overs per side.

With openers now bowled out, Frome turned to Craig Dredge and Hamblin who again bowled cannily against a Wellington side who appeared to panic after their slow start had left them with work to do. With the score on 62, Dredge had Davies smartly caught by Mark Sanger for 28, before Capaldi (21) was caught by Bleakley off the same bowler.

Despite a wet ball and greasy outfield Frome’s bowlers and fielders were now well on top, and the score was soon 72-6 when Hamblin picked up a deserved wicket and Dredge a further one. Bleakley replaced Dredge, and despite a few lusty blows from Desave giving the Wellington total some respectability they were soon 9 down with just 99 on the board, as a further wicket for Hamblin and some sharp fielding saw two batsmen run out. The final wicket yielded 18 before Wellington were eventually bowled out for 117 in the last of their allotted 34 overs.

In reply Frome made a solid start through Paul Sanger and Stonell, knowing that a good partnership would put Wellington out of the game early. Sanger dealt mainly in boundaries, punishing anything off length, whilst both dealt well with the pace of Desave on a difficult surface. The score progressed past 50 until in the 15th over Stonell was bowled by Hendy. Wellington were given a glimmer of home when Sanger was then bowled by Hooper for an excellent 41, leaving the in-form Smith and Bleakley together with 60 runs still required.

But the pair saw off the returning Desave before making short work of the remaining runs, giving Frome victory by 8 wickets with over 10 overs remaining. Bleakley finished on 45 not out while Smith was unbeaten on 18.

Despite having the best of conditions, there was no doubt Frome ran out comfortable winners and are now extremely well-placed for a good finish.