AN 11-year-old cricket fanatic from Taunton successfully completed his 100-over batting challenge on Saturday, raising thousands for Love Musgrove in the process.

Fin Bendle took on the challenge in memory of his brother, Alfie, who was stillborn at 37 weeks in April 2018.

He began at 11am on Saturday at Wombat CC, Bishops Lydeard, and was still at the crease 100 overs later when the final ball was bowled at around 4.15pm.

Fin was encouraged along the way by messages of support from cricketing legends including Sir Ian Botham, Jos Buttler, Joe Root, Nasser Hussain, Charlotte Edwards and Andrew Strauss.

There was also a cricketing hero from closer to home on hand to sprinkle a bit of stardust on the day.

Fin’s Dad, Jon Bendle, said: “It was an amazing day.

“We had great support on the day from family, friends and Fin’s teammates at Taunton Deane.

“The highlight for us was probably when Jack Leach turned up.

“It was completely out of the blue, none of us were expecting him, but he stayed for around an hour and a half and was brilliant.

“He signed everything, had photos with the kids and even bowled a couple of overs at Fin.

“It was really exciting for everyone and so good of him to give up his time.

“Fin was fine at the end and I think the adrenaline got him through.

“The messages we received from all those famous names were a real bonus and Fin didn’t know anything about them – it was a joy to see his face light up when he saw them.”

The day itself raised £805, with the total now standing at just shy of £8,000 – and there is more to come.

“We are holding a draw with prizes to be won on September 14, as well as hosting an online auction with three signed shirts,” Jon said.

“These will be a Western Storm shirt, a Jack Leach signed England shirt and an England shirt signed by this year’s Ashes squad.

“We originally set out to raise £1,000 so the support has been phenomenal.

“It was quite overwhelming on Saturday to see the support Fin was receiving, and to see him out there taking on such a challenge.

“I feel incredibly proud of Fin and he took it all in his stride.”

To donate to Fin's cause, click here.