Wellington beat the weather to get their Division One campaign off and running in the Best Western Shrubbery Hotel Somerset Cricket League with a 31-run victory over last season’s runners-up North Petherton.
Club groundsman Simon Rudd and his team did so much hard work in the lead-up to the game to get things on and it was a testament to these efforts there was a game at all.
Petherton – with Ali Bunce who played for Wellington in 2011 back in their ranks – asked Wellington to bat first and it was hard going for Paul Short and Neil Hendy early on as Knight and Gibbs bowled a tight line and length that made run scoring hard work.
But the opening Wellington wicket came when Hendy was run out after a call for quick single was aborted and he failed to make his ground in time.
Skipper Short and Alex Sparks got their heads down and added 57 patient runs for the second wicket as run scoring opportunities were limited – only six boundaries were hit in the entire Wellington innings. Short had made it to 23 before he went to hit over the top and Bunce (3-38 in 12 overs) had a wicket.
Charlie Davies, with a workmanlike 19, gave Sparks (48) fine support in a 50-run third-wicket stand.
From 111-2 to 126-6, Wellington saw their score dip somewhat, and closed on 159-9.
The only time Petherton seemed to be in charge of the chase was when Owen Irish and Gibbs were adding 55 for their fourth wicket as earlier Thom Trott and Luke Desave had reduced Petherton to 29-3 in 12 overs.
Irish made a fine 42 but was dropped once and made some profit from this drop but, other than Gibbs with 27, there was not really anyone to support this effort, as Petherton were dismissed for 128.
Pick of the Wellington attack was Luke Desave with 5-28.