First Team vs Bristol
Despite their best efforts to lose, Midsomer Norton secured their third win of the campaign on Saturday to move second on the West of England Premier League table.
Playing Bristol away, Norton held their nerve to win by one wicket, chasing down Bristol’s total of 209-8 batting first.
Midway through the second innings it looked as if Norton would cruise home, belting the ball with regularity to Bristol’s gargantuan boundaries.
Another strong opening stand from Alex Lear and Dean Clifton had Norton at 42-0 in no time, but a mini collapse soon had the side at 64-3.
Ben Strang and Dan Nolan steadied the ship with an at times brutal 86 run partnership. When Nolan attacked, Strang fed him the strike. When Strang was aggressive, Nolan sat back. It wasn’t by design, but it had Bristol struggling to set fields and quickly seeing the game escape them.
But when Strang and Nolan both fell for fifties and the score sat at 172-5, Norton crumbled.
Captain Nick Pang came in and had to watch as the lower order and tail crumbled, combining for just eight runs, with five batsmen falling to LBW decisions against spin.
Eight runs were required for the last wicket, with Pang duly belting a ball to the mid-wicket boundary before carving the ball to point to secure the win. He scored 45 not out in his game saving captains knock.
Earlier, Bristol were propelled by their middle order pairing of Alan Hunt (56) and Matt Brewer (63).
Nick Potter and Strang removed the openers in successive overs, before Hunt and Brewer played a pair of patient innings to set Bristol what looked a good base.
In the final 20 overs, however, Norton were able to restrict the hosts with tight bowling and at times superb fielding, besmirching their whites with green grass as they collected four runouts along the way.
Some of the running between wickets was quizzical, but the Norton were always quick to pounce on any ill informed efforts between the wickets.
Martin Cox was the pick of the bowlers, ending with 2-42 from his 10 overs as he bowled through the death.
Norton play Pak Bristolians at home on Saturday, looking to keep in touch with league leaders Winterbourne.