Ashburton 1st XI got back to winning ways as they overcome visitors Bridestowe in the only game to start and finish in the DCL C West Division in week 12.
Skipper Ash Berry won the toss and easily decided to bowl on what was an overcast day and conditions far from ideal for batting. The decision soon paid off as Dan Coles and Berry teamed up to run out the dangerous Gary Sizmur for 4. Overseas Tristan Wakefield then ran through the middle order to claim 3-24 from his 8 overs. Phillip Woods the first to go for a duck after an smart athletic catch by Kev Nicholls at first slip. Jack Hutton was bowled for 8 and Will Coon took a looping catch at square leg to remove Tom Fogerty without troubling the scorers. Coon then turned the screw in the middle overs as he spun his way for 2 wickets for just 8 runs after his 7 overs. Opener James Ewen hung around until he danced down the track to Matt Churchill and missed a turning delivery, Berry doing the rest; Out stumped for one short of his half century. Wakefield then ran out Ryan Dennis for 10 with a superb one-handed pick up and throw whilst on the ground! Sam Ewen run out of partners and was left stranded on 32 not out as Churchill mopped up the tail in quick time to leave the visitors all out for 116.
Ashes had utilised the conditions and 6 stops for rain would not have helped settle any batsman. Due to the weather, the fixture was reduced to 37 overs per side.
Ashes got off to the worst possible start as Lloyd White perished softly, caught at mid off attempting to go over the top. But that only bought the in-form captain Berry to the crease and alongside standing opener Dan Coles, the pair put on a match turning 64 to get the home side just over half way there. The momentum changed when Berry was caught and bowled for 33 by Fogerty. When Coles departed LBW to Sizmur for 33 it was getting tense. It was bits and pieces from there on as Wakefield (10), and Kev Nichols (9*) edged Ashes closer until Dom Durman (7*) got the Chargers over the line with 3 overs to spare.
With no other game in the division starting, Ashes gained points on leaders Babbacombe and cut the deficit to just 17 points and 25 clear of Bridestowe in 3rd.
Berry reflected: "Ashburton often avoids the showers and credit to Bridestowe for being keen to get the game on as well. We won this game in the first half as the bowling unit did a superb job backed up by some excellent fielding. With everyone washed out, we close the gap on the top and we'll keep trying to chip away"
There was no play for the 2nd XI as they fell afoul of the weather and gained 6 points.
Bridestowe 116 (J Ewen 49, S Ewen 32no; T Wakefield 3-24, M Churchill 3-35, W Coon 2-8), Ashburton 112-6 (D Coles 34, A Berry 33; T Fogerty 2-21, G Sizmur 3-10). Ashburton (19pts) bt Bridestowe (5) by 4 wkts chasing revised target of 110.
Plymouth v Ashburton 2nd XI. No play, rain. Plymouth (6pts), Ashburton (6).