CRICKET: Lechlade's strength in depth sees them through against Biddestone

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Asanka Vithanage, Lechlade Cricket Club (6104115) Asanka Vithanage, Lechlade Cricket Club (6104115)

LECHLADE’S Paul Godding and Asanka Vithanage held their nerve and mounted a rearguard batting performance to set Lechlade up for their third successive win of the season on Saturday to keep the riverside club top of the Glos Wilts Division.

WEPL Glos Wilts Division

Lechlade 222 all out

Biddestone 182 all out

Lechlade had been invited to bat by Biddestone on what looked like a tricky batting track and looked to be in serious trouble with the loss of their overseas opener Bradley Dial for a second-ball duck together with Freddie Martin (four) and Willy Nichols (five) with only 33 on the board.

Lechlade captain Joe Breet together with Arran Dickinson then managed to hold off Biddestone’s main strike bowler Nazeem Khan before Dickinson (14) departed to the third catch of the day behind the stumps. Khan bowled his 10-over spell straight off and conceded only two runs off his last six overs to finish with 2-16.

Lechlade lost Breet for 51 and the home side seemed to be in considerable trouble at 82-5. Godding and Vithanage then started the Lechlade fight back sharing in a 69 partnership in which Vithanage played the aggressor and Godding the anchor.

On Vithanage’s departure (41), Godding (43) took the lead and with the Lechlade tail added another 81 runs to the Lechlade total to close on 222 all out.

Luke Sellers then struck in the first over of the Biddestone reply, bowling Jamie Mitchell for 0 but Biddestone batsmen Martin Sawyer and Neil Bredenkamp then asserted themselves on the Lechlade bowling before Nichols bowled Sawyer for 18.

Sawyer was replaced by Dwayne Perry and the Biddestone talisman, first with Bredenkamp (39) and then Andy Flynn (30), continued to frustrate the Lechlade bowling attack taking the score to 142 before Perry was eventually dismissed for 33.

All three batsmen were dismissed off the bowling of Hawkes who finished with match figures of 4-29.

With Perry’s demise Lechlade then picked up the last six Biddestone wickets for just 40 runs in 10 overs thanks to some exceptional fielding including two run-outs.

The result extends Lechlade's lead at the top of the division to eight points over second-placed Rockhampton.

Lechlade captain Breet said: “I think today's result shows the enormous depth of quality we have in the side this year.

"We were without our top wicket taker Michael Craigs but in comes Tris (Hawkes) who gets four very important wickets today.

The depth of our batting line-up is second to none in this division and that was clear today with Paul and Sanks (Godding and Vithanage) batting at six and seven getting us a respectable score after our bad start.”

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