Marlborough will hope to bring their 3 game losing run to an end this Saturday when they travel to Calne. The Forest outfit will be bolstered by the return of inform batman Peter Day and Keeper batsman George Penfold.
Marlborough Captain Arran Dickinson is somewhat bewildered by his teams loss of form which has seen them drop to 3rd place in the table and all but end their title challenge for 2015.
“The spirit in the camp has been good and we have been doing nothing different in recent weeks in training that would explain our recent loss of form. We have had some availability issues but nothing serious and we have had good quality guys come in for cover but we have played poorly in all departments since beating Westbury a month ago.”
With the return of Peter Day and George Penfold for this weekend’s game Marlborough will strengthen what has looked a fragile batting unit in recent weeks. Day scored 48 and 55 in his last two outings and Penfold has bagged two centuries this season. Dickinson says however it’s not just been the loss of form on the batting front but also in the bowling and fielding.
“I think it’s fair to say it been our 1st innings performance in recent weeks and the pressure then put on us in the 2nd innings that has lost us the games. At Marshfield and Devizes we bowled and fielded poorly and the batsmen didn’t knuckle down under pressure and they played some poor cricket. Last week it was the other way round with the batsmen not really giving our bowlers much of a chance trying to defend a very low total and to get so close under the circumstances was a credit to them and hopefully is the turning of our fortune and belief.”
Dickinson added. “We need to be on the top of our game from ball one and this is something we have talked about this week. I am sure we are just one win away from finding our form and being able to finish strongly and at least finish in the top 3 this season.”
West Of England Premier League (Wilts Division)
Match Sponsor: The Marlborough
Marlborough v Purton 25th July 2015
Marlborough 95 all out; Purton 96-8
Purton won by 2 wickets
Marlborough's best performer, Ben HeadMarlborough’s continued bad performance saw them slip to a third successive defeat in recent weeks with a 2 wicket loss at home to Purton last Saturday. The loss brings an end to their title hopes all but mathematically as they now trail league leaders Trowbridge by 36 points.
Purton winning the toss asked Marlborough to bat first on a rain affected wicket and the home side got off to a difficult start with runs coming at a very high premium. Marlborough quickly lost the wickets of Ben Head (11), Mark Wingfield-Digby (6) and James Richardson (2) with only 44 on the scoreboard.
Marlborough’s Arran Dickinson looked well out of form and despite a 61 ball innings, in which he rode his luck being dropped four times, he could only manage a score of 25. With Dickinson’s dismissal and with the score on 64 Marlborough’s total collapse soon followed.
Marlborough were finally dismissed for 95 off 35 overs with only Kiwi Brad Frost being the only other batsman to reach double figures. All the Purton bowlers got in the wicket action with Tom Bowler and Patrick Whittaker leading the way with 4 for 17 and 3 for 17 respectively.
Marlborough’s bowling attack, defending a very poor total, went out all guns blazing with some very attacking fields and were rewarded quickly when strike bowlers Frost and George Fox dismissed Purton’s Sam Shelford (2), Deepak Ramani (9) and Daniel Booth-Howe for 0 with 33 on the scoreboard.
Purton’s Tom Bowler and Tom Whittaker then put on a 4th wicket partnership of 37, the highest in the game, to take Purton to 70 and looking to be coasting to a comfortable win when Whittaker was dismissed by Ben Head for 14.
Head in an outstanding spell followed up with his second hat trick of the season with the dismissal of David Allen, Lachlan Beggs and Sam Bull to leave Purton on 81 for 7 and wobbling on the verge of victory. Marlborough’s hope of pulling off a sensational win increased when Head dismissed Bowler for 45 and with Purton still 10 runs short of victory.
Purton’s Captain Aaron Lee then calmed Purton’s nerves and saw them home in the 28th over with 2 boundaries without further loss to give Purton a fully deserved 2 wicket win. Bowler scored seven 4’s and batted for 62 balls in what proved to be a match winning innings. Head was the pick of the Marlborough bowlers with another sensational bowling performance finishing with 5 for 21 off his 9 over spell.
Marlborough Captain Arran Dickinson said after the game. “It was very difficult to bat out there today as shown by both teams. Tom (Bowler) coped better than most and has won them the game with his dogged innings. Ben (Head) just goes on and on. He never gives up and to have collected his second five for and hat trick of the season in vein was very disappointing for him and the team.”