A close call - but Minehead pull off a vital victory over Temple Cloud

By in Cricket

MINEHEAD returned to winning ways in a low-scoring game on Saturday when they limped to a two-wicket victory away to fellow strugglers Temple Cloud.

They won the toss and elected to bowl, and Darren Sherring saw a chance go begging in the first over when Courtney Forrest was dropped at point.

But the visitors didn’t have to wait long for the breakthrough as Sherring (1-44) clean bowled Simon Curtis for just three and skipper Dan Bowditch (1-22) induced the edge of Andrew Mortimer for seven to leave Cloud on 30-2 from 10 overs.

Kevin Curtis then joined Forrest and the pair picked up boundaries at more regular intervals in their pursuit of a competitive total.

The introduction of Ellis Taylor proved the turning point, as first he had Forrest caught at cover for 30 then accounting for Curtis as he skied a pull shot to depart for 31.

With the assistance of Ian Buchanan (2-25), Taylor proceeded to wipe out the rest of the Cloud middle order with a devastating spell of swing bowling.

Only Owen Johnson (15) and Chris Diaper (21) offered any resistance as Taylor took 6-25 from 6.4 overs to leave the home team 136 all out in just 28.4 overs.

In reply, Minehead lost Buchanan for eight and Bowditch for six early on, both bowled by Simon Curtis, but Liam Muggeridge and Alastair Harrison steadied the ship as they looked to see off the dangerous opening pairing of Curtis and Diaper.

They had taken the score to 72-2 by the time tea was taken after 18 overs, but the break only aided the bowling side as Muggeridge was adjudged LBW for 25 shortly after the re-start.

Harrison looked to push the score on but Cloud’s change of keeper brought his demise when Johnson expertly stumped him off a wide two balls later for 28.

This double breakthrough offered the hosts the impetus they wanted and Curtis continued to cause havoc to the Minehead middle order, picking up 6-22 form his ten overs to leave Minehead on 93-8 and still requiring 44 runs to win.

Jay Darrell and Sherring soaked up the pressure for a number of overs whilst keeping the score ticking towards the unlikely target, and Darrell was first to unleash when he launched a six over long-on.

A crucial moment in the match came when he was dropped when looking to emulate his earlier feat.

Sherring, who ended on 22 not out, supplied a maximum of his own to take the required amount down to single digits, and iDarrell struck the winning boundary to finish 23 not out to give his side victory with 15 overs to spare.

The win lifted Minehead to seventh in the table, 21 points ahead of bottom sides Temple Cloud and Wellington with four games to play.

Tomorrow (Saturday) they will look to improve that position when they host eighth-place Chard.

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