West of England Premier League
Somerset Division
North Petherton 139-6 beat Chard 138 by 4 wkts

CHARD paid the price for soft dismissals as they went down to their third straight defeat on Saturday.

Hosts North Petherton, who had won just once this season going into the match, chased down their modest target in a match which saw both team’s overseas players enjoy productive afternoons.

Chard elected to bat upon winning the toss but lost early wickets, with Akhona Mbanga playing a lone hand at the top of the order.

Nathan Johnson (5), Harvey Dening (0) and Reid Mawdsley (4) fell early as Chard slipped to 48-4, with young Farran Gregory (3-44) in fine form for the hosts.

Mbanga progressed to 52, at which point he was caught from the bowling of Ali Zaryab Asif (2-18 from 10) to leave Chard 81-7.

At 95-9, final pair Nathan Warren and Richard Scott showed the discipline that was lacking further up the order in a defiant last-wicket stand.

They took the score to 138 when Scott was caught for 20, leaving Warren unbeaten on 24.

Having impressed with the bat, Mbanga then made a fine start with the ball as he removed both openers cheaply to leave Pethy 23-2.

The game was in the balance with the hosts on 60-4, Mbanga and Richard Scott (1-35) claiming the wickets, but Asif proved tough to dislodge as he showed his class.

He needed a willing partner and Liam Winter played that role, chipping in with 32 before he became Mbanga’s fourth wicket - the seamer ending with 4-42 from 10 overs.

Professional footballer Scott Laird (10) joined Asif to take Pethy within four runs of victory, and Gregory came in to finish the job as the hosts sealed victory from the final ball of the 35th over.

Chard host Street on Saturday (12.30pm), as they look to change their fortunes.