Somerset Cricket League Division Seven

Burnham II 258-5 beat Wells II 150 by 108 runs

A CENTURY from Andy Ashfold fired Burnham seconds to a 108-run victory over already relegated Wells II on Saturday.

Ashfold was eventually dismissed for a brilliant 118 and Brad House added 62 as Burnham posted 258-5 batting first.

Cain Harding was the pick of the bowlers in the Wells reply, claiming 4-30 as the visitors slumped to 150 all out in 41.2 overs.

Burnham won the toss and elected to bat first, but Pete Gaylard fell cheaply in the seventh over, as he misjudged an aerial stroke.

This was to be Wells’ only success for over an hour, however, as Brad House and Andy Ashfold expertly exploited gaps in the field to put on 142 without taking many risks.

Both batsmen passed 50 during this partnership, with House batting slightly more aggressively although many sweetly-timed boundaries were also scored off Ashfold’s bat.

The fall of House, bowled by the first ball of Hodgkinson’s second spell, triggered a mini-collapse, as Steve Birkett and Graeme Batt both failed to reach double figures.

Despite this, Burnham were still in a very healthy position due to the platform provided by the aforementioned second-wicket stand - and it came as no surprise when Ashfold reached three figures for the umpteenth time.

Uncharacteristically, he was dismissed in the penultimate over in a similar manner to his opening partner, leaving Phil White to strike a flurry of boundaries and set Wells the challenging target of 259.

Wells clearly had a mountain to climb, and their cause was severely hampered by the loss of two batsmen in the opening eight overs, both bowled by the accurate Paul Grant.

From then on, it was a case of damage limitation for Wells, as they shut up shop and attempted to grind out the remaining overs.

This approach had a degree of success, as Gooch and Pritchard held out for 15 overs, but once Pritchard was dismissed the floodgates re-opened and Wells slumped to 98 for 7, with Caine Harding taking four wickets and Andy Birkett one. However, with victory in sight, Burnham appeared to lose focus, allowing Wells’ last batsman to hit a succession of boundaries.

With the last-wicket stand passing fifty, it appeared Burnham may have been denied the last bowling point, but the returning Grant wrapped up proceedings by trapping Speed (35) leg-before-wicket.