CRICKET: Brad Dial masterclass sends Lechlade back to the top

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Bradley Dial, Lechlade Cricket Club (7910032) Bradley Dial, Lechlade Cricket Club (7910032)

BRAD DIAL’S second century of the season helped Lechlade to a comfortable 102-run win at Tewkesbury on Saturday.

WEPL Glos/Wilts Division

Tewkesbury 128 all out

Lechlade 230-6 declared

The win sees Lechlade return to the top of the Glos/Wilts table as their title rivals Rockhampton and Biddestone both lost at the weekend.

Lechlade, having been put into bat by their hosts, seemed to be coasting to a good score at 70-1 after 18 overs. Lechlade then had their customary wobble losing three wickets for 17 runs as Will Nichols (24), Joe Breet (5) and Ryan Higgins (0) were all dismissed in the space of 33 balls.

Dial then took command of the situation with a masterclass of batting. First with Arran Dickinson (19) and then Oli Thornley (28), who both batted doggedly and gave the strike to Dial as much as possible, he shared respective partnerships of 52 and 91.

The three of them re-established Lechlade’s dominance and took the score to 228 before Dial and Thornley were dismissed looking for quick runs ahead of a declaration.

Dial’s controlled innings of 121 came off 107 balls in 135 minutes with his century being completed off 99 balls. His innings included 12 fours and five sixes.

Lechlade captain Joe Breet then declared the innings at 230 in what seemed to be a very brave move at the time as Lechlade looked for valuable bonus points in their title challenge.

After the break Tewkesbury found scoring difficult as the Lechlade opening bowlers, Michael Craigs and Luke Sellers, bowled fast and economically conceding only 21 runs off the opening 11 overs without success.

Lechlade then introduced Asanka Vithanage to the attack and the off spinner quickly made the breakthrough as Sam Burdock stumped Freddie Humphreys.

Will Nichols followed up with the wicket of Warren Deeming and when Vithanage dismissed Stuart Tame Tewkesbury were struggling at 44-3. The hosts rallied to 100-5 off 34 overs but never looked to threaten the Lechlade total.

After Vithanage dismissed Dave Vernon to a superb catch by stand-in wicket keeper Dial following an injury to Burdock, Tewkesbury collapsed to 128 all out.

Nichols and Vithanage finished with match figures of 4-39 and 3-10 respectively with Sellers picking up 2-7 off his eight overs.

Dial capped of his good day with three dismissals behind the stumps.

“The declaration was vindicated as we secured a comfortable win," said Breet.

"Brad (Dial) batted very well but some credit should be given to Oli (Thornley) and Arran (Dickinson) who both batted for the team, giving Brad as much of the strike as possible.

“Again the bowling unit were fantastic with Luke (Sellers) and Michael (Craigs) applying the pressure with Sanks (Vithanage) and Willy (Nichols) picking up the wickets as a result."

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