WEPL Premier 2 Bristol/Som
Taunton St Andrew’s 420-5d beat Claverham 228 by 192 runs

A SPARKLING double century from Michael Leask helped Taunton St Andrew’s to a commanding victory over struggling Claverham on Saturday.

Leask’s 212 helped the Saints rack up 420-5 before declaring with 5.1 overs of their innings remaining, and each of the bowlers then contributed as Claverham were bowled out for 228.

Skipper Lloyd Alley won the toss and chose to bat, but Saints lost in-form opener Eddie Byrom (2) early on.

That was the cue for the carnage to begin, however, as Leask joined James Regan in the middle and the pair put on 91 for the second wicket.

Having taken the score to 121, Regan was then clean bowled for a 36-ball 49 and Alley fell shortly afterwards for eight, but Leask showed no signs of letting up.

The Scottish international was the dominant figure in a profitable fourth-wicket stand with Rob Contreras, who contributed 27 to the partnership of 155, and struck 27 fours and nine 6s in his superb 123-ball 212.

Leask eventually fell with the score on 383-5, but Kevin Parsons (30*) and Deven Bell (24*) took the score past 400 before the Saints declared on 420-5.

On a chastening day for the Claverham attack, Mitchell Bench (3-59) was the only bowler to go for less than eight an over as the home side piled on the runs.

Bench was not so impressive with the bat, falling for a duck as Harry Clements made the early breakthrough with the ball, and Claverham skipper Lloyd Richardson also failed to trouble the scorers as he was caught by Bell from the bowling of Alley.

Alley then cleaned up Dominic Hooper to leave the visitors struggling on 22-3, but opening batsman Ryan Thorpe steadied the ship alongside the incoming Duval Pierre.

The fourth-wicket pair took the score to 65 before Thorpe (33) was bowled by James Hayman, who went on to dismiss Andrew Mayers (11) to end with 2-33 from eight overs.

With nothing to lose, Pierre counter-attacked effectively on his way to 71, scored at comfortably more than a run a ball, but when he picked out Hayman from the bowling of Luke Poole the visitors were dead and buried on 150-9.

The last-wicket pair enjoyed themselves, with last man Keith Miles hitting six 4s and two 6s on his way to 46, but Contreras bowled the number 11 to seal an emphatic Saints victory.

The Saints have now established a 24-point lead at the top of the division ahead of this weekend’s trip to Taunton Deane.

WEPL Premier 2 Bristol/Som
Taunton 148-8 beat Lansdown 147 by 2 wkts

TAUNTON kept their heads above water at the wrong end of the division thanks to a crucial victory at Lansdown.

Having lost the toss and been asked to field, Taunton initially struggled to find the early wickets they desired as Lansdown openers Jordan Smith (20) and Josh Smith (41) made a solid start.

Joe Gore was the man to find the breakthrough as Jordan Smith edged through to wicketkeeper Dan Quick, and the same pair combined to dismiss Brandon Allen for eight.

Kofi James struck four boundaries and a six in his 30 but, once he and Josh Smith had departed, the rest of the batting line-up fell away as Taunton made regular breakthroughs.

Gore returned to dismiss last man Oliver Gooding to end with 3-32 from 7.1 overs, while Justin Burke (3-29) also impressed as Lansdown were dismissed for 147.

The Taunton reply began strongly, with Simon Manley (53) and Charles Clist (20) setting the tone early on.

Clist’s dismissal led to a wobble, however, as James (3-25) ran through the middle order before Jack Cooper (13) and William Abell (21) steadied the ship.

The victory never looked certain as wickets continued to fall, but captain Ben Phillips (6*) held his nerve in a tense finale to help his side to a vital win.

Taunton’s success saw them leapfrog Taunton Deane, and they will be hoping for another positive result as they host Keynsham on Saturday.

WEPL Premier 2 Bristol/Som
Keynsham 248-6 beat Taunton Deane 231 by 17 runs

TAUNTON Deane slipped to third-bottom in Premier 2 after a narrow defeat at Keynsham on Saturday.

Deane captain Harry Thomas elected to field upon winning the toss, but Russ Wakefield flew out the traps for the hosts as they made a strong start.

Wakefield was the dominant figure in the opening partnership, to the extent that when his partner Ben Ward fell for nine, providing the first of three catches to Sam Shaikh, the score had already made its way to 58.

Shohel Rana then dimissed Wakefield (55) and Martin Millard (10) in quick succession and, when Jack Fraser clean bowled James Mitchell, Keynsham were 132-4 and the innings could have gone either way.

An 86-run stand between captain Daniel Jarman and Ian Fiebelkorn frustrated the Deane, who eventually dismissed the skipper six short of a ton as William Hardwick picked up the first of his two wickets at the death.

Firbelkorn ended unbeaten on 49, however, as Keynsham finished their 50 overs on 248-6.

In reply, Calvin Harrison and Jack Fraser put on 43 for the first wicket before the former fell for a quickfire 30, which included seven 4s.

The Deane built solid partnerships thereafter, as captain Harry Thomas found the boundary at will and was well supported by Fraser (15) and Sam Underdown (28).

Thomas was the key wicket, and his impressive knock was brought to an end on 59 (10x4, 2x6) to leave the visitors up against it on 162-5.

Henry Mellor and Rob Pryke showed some resistance, hitting 23 and 17 respectively, and Hardwick added an unbeaten 20 from number 10 to keep his side in the hunt.

Hardwick needed a partner, however, and Mellor and Rana fell in successive balls as the Deane were bowled out 17 runs adrift.

Next up for the defeated side is a derby with leaders Taunton St Andrew’s on Saturday.