THE mid-table clash between Cricklade and NATS beside the infant Thames proved to be the match of the day in division one of the CDCA leagues.
The hosts chose to bat and gained maximum batting points on 209 all out after a fine century from skipper Paul Dewsbury (106) with good support from Darren Fisher (54). The total might have been higher but once visiting skipper Will Spence removed Dewsbury he went on to decimate the middle order and tail taking 7-35 in a fine spell of accurate bowling.
In reply the Phillips brothers got NATS off to a fluent start. Stuart Phillips fell for 20 followed by Tom Nuttall for a very useful 32 but at this stage, with opener Andrew Phillips in full flow towards another fine century a NATS win looked on the cards.
Enter Darren Fisher who removed opener Phillips (110) then took three further quick wickets to swing the match back in favour of the hosts.
In the hectic finish two run-outs kept NATS in check and left the visitors 12 runs short on 198-7.
Table-topping Stow-on-the-Wold maintained their title push with a comfortable win at home to struggling Williamstrip.
Put in to bat the hosts lost two early wickets but were held together by opener and skipper Ash Andrews (63) with strong support from middle-order batsmen Max Fisher (54) and David Nieman (23).
Good bowling from M Berry (4-30) kept them in check but their total of 196-8 was above par. By contrast the visitors got off to a solid start with Kevin Sandhu (32) leading the way, however change bowlers Dan Smith (5-11) and Jimmy Larner (3-47) turned the tide to bowl Williamstrip out for 154 and cement top spot in the league.
Second-placed Chedworth travelled to struggling Poulton 2nd XI and came home with the points after an easy win. Batting first Poulton could manage only 87 all out, a total which was never going to trouble the confident visitors. The target of 88 was reached for the loss of only two wickets to keep Chedworth in touch with the league leaders.
Oakridge dragged themselves clear of the relegation zone with a much-needed win at home to Barnsley Beeches.
The visitors elected to bat but struggled against an accurate home attack. Only debutant Stuart Gregory (44) made a significant contribution as an excellent spell from Stuart Ridge (5-35) saw Barnsley bowled out for an inadequate 110. After tea the hosts did not have it all their own way but after the loss of four wickets Stuart Ridge (25no) capped an excellent all-round game to see his team home by six wickets.