CRICKET: Town cruise past Almondsbury in Knockout Cup

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Alex Binnie who played the anchor role In Cirencester's crucial opening stand on Sunday (6525457) Alex Binnie who played the anchor role In Cirencester's crucial opening stand on Sunday (6525457)

WITH their County League Division One clash at Kingsholm washed out by Saturday’s heavy rain, Cirencester turned their attention to Gloucestershire County Knockout Cup action in the Park on Sunday when they continued their winning start to the season with a crushing eight-wicket win over Almondsbury.

Gloucestershire County KO Cup

Cirencester 98-2

Almondsbury 94 all out

The visitors, currently leading the Bristol and District Senior Division table, were only in the game for the opening 20 overs before collapsing in dramatic fashion against Town spinners Gareth Williams and Jock Jamieson-Black and being dismissed for a paltry total of 94 all out.

The target proved nowhere near enough to trouble Town openers Ben Moodie and Alex Binnie who added 80 for the first wicket after tea.

Although both were dismissed with victory in sight, there were no further concerns as the winning runs came with more than 19 overs to spare.

With the Park wicket still affected by the previous day’s heavy rain, the toss was always going to be crucial and having won it, Town skipper Gareth Williams had no hesitation in asking the visitors to bat first, which they did with considerable initial success, openers Goodwin and Wood adding 48 for the first wicket against the medium pace of Jack Roberts and Rob Lamble.

Bram Coleman made the initial breakthrough having Wood caught behind for 25 and after Simon Rowe had taken a wicket in his first over, Almondsbury pushed the total to 70-2 before Coleman struck again, trapping Goodwin leg before for 20.

Almondsbury still looked capable of setting a challenging total, but the introduction of Jamieson-Black’s left arm quickly put a brake on the scoring with the soft wicket allowing sharp turn, and when Williams came on to bowl his off-spin at the other end the visiting middle order suddenly looked all at sea.

Jamieson-Black claimed the fourth wicket thanks to a sharp stumping by Carter and Williams took a simple return catch with his first delivery as the visitors rapidly disintegrated, losing their last seven wickets for just 24 runs as they were bowled out for just 94 in the 38th of the 40 overs.

Jamieson-Black took 3-7 from his tight eight over spell, and Williams’ figures were even more impressive as he finished with 4-4 from 5.2 overs.

Had Almondsbury possessed spin options of similar quality, it might still have proved an awkward chase after tea, but they stuck to pace when Town replied and that proved no problem to home opening pair Moodie and Binnie who quickly set about reducing the deficit.

Binnie sensibly undertook the anchor role as his partner cut loose with a succession of firmly-struck boundaries and with just ten overs gone the Town were halfway to their target and almost home and dry.

Moodie hit seven fours and a six in his 60 out of a stand of 80 before edging a catch behind off Slade and although the same bowler then bowled Binnie, Andy Reynolds hit the winning boundary in the 21st over.

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