A MAMMOTH second-wicket stand of 166 between Jack Cooper and century-maker Chris Gange helped Taunton to victory over Winterbourne in the Bristol and Somerset Division at Gipsy Lane last Saturday.

It means Taunton have won their opening two games and are on course for an immediate return to upper echelons of the West of England structure.

After being asked to field, Chad Barrett took two wickets to reduce the hosts to 30-2. Jack Cooper removed Steve Paul and Henry Carpenter bowled Jonathan Oakes to put Taunton in control at 83-4.

However, by that time Wayne Kylander was at the crease and he set about re-building the innings, putting on 90 with Paul Tovey who eventually caught behind by Somerset wicketkeeper Carl Gazzard, off the bowling of Carpenter for 46.

Kylander continued and was eventually dismissed by Carpenter for virtually a better-than-run-a-ball century, scoring 107.

Winterbourne added another ten to close on 247-8 from their 50 overs.

For Taunton, Carpenter was the most successful bowler, with 3-43 from 15, while Barrett snapped up 3-55 from 13 and Jack Cooper 2-54 from nine.

Taunton lost skipper Lee Cooper early for three in their reply but, what turned out to the match-winning stand followed, as Gange came in to join Jack Cooper.

The duo batted superbly to take their side to the verge of victory, with Jack Cooper first to fall - with the score on 194 - for a fine 87, which came from 111 balls.

Former Bath and Bridgwater batsman Gange kept going and put on 40 with Gazzard before departing for an excellent 109, which came from 121 deliveries.

Gazzard (18) and Jon Todd (13) then carried Taunton to their target with three overs remaining.

This Saturday, Taunton travel to face the only other side in the division to have won their opening two matches, Minehead. The Seasiders' line-up will also feature prolific, former Taunton all-rounder Gary Bennett.