WEPL Somerset

Yeovil 237-5 beat Chard 236 by 5 wkts

CHARD lost ground on league leaders Frome as they slipped to a five-wicket defeat at home to Yeovil on Saturday.

The hosts won the toss in the searing heat and chose to bat first, a decision which looked vindicated during an opening stand of 60 which was dominated by Paul Rideout.

Rideout his seven boundaries in his 37 off 32 balls before falling with the score on 60, and the departure of his opening partner Jon Dalwood (7) left the score 69-2.

Nathan Johnson (13) and Reid Mawdsley (39) took Chard past 100 but both fell in quick succession as several batsmen made starts without kicking on, and Liam Cleal’s departure for five left the innings delicately balanced on 151-5.

Scott Wells-Burr, playing his first league match of the season for Chard, showcased his talent in the overs that followed as he struck a run-a-ball 51 including five fours and a six.

Wells-Burr was the penultimate man to fall but a valuable late cameo from Nathan Warren (19) pushed Chard up to 236, though the hosts left 1.4 overs unused - which would prove crucial.

Ben Ford (3-45 from 10) impressed for Yeovil and Matt Dyer (3-9 off 4.2) wrapped up the innings.

Yeovil started positively in reply, adding 43 for the first wicket before Richard Scott (1-40 off 6.2) had Will Hanrahan (11) caught by Wells-Burr.

Akhona Mbanga (1-42 off 10) then dismissed Dan Ewens for a duck and, when Dalwood clean bowled opener Louis Martin (30), the reply was wobbling at 68-3.

That brought Ford to the wicket and he proceeded to play the match-winning innings, rotating the strike well and punishing anything loose, including two big sixes, to anchor the chase.

It was not all plain sailing for Yeovil - Dalwood (2-26 from 10) removed Steven Redwood (30) before Wells-Burr (1-47 off nine) accounted for Dan Legg for an entertaining 35 to leave Chard in with a chance at 166-5.

Skipper Matt Dyer ensured there was no further alarm, however, as his unbeaten 34 proved the perfect foil to Ford, who walked off with 78 not out to his name having helped his side to victory with 10 balls to spare.

Chard were left ruing the fact they were 20-30 runs short and, perhaps, could have batted last - any moisture had gone out of the wicket by the time the second innings began and batting conditions improved as the day went on.

Chard have now slipped to fourth and they are back at home on Saturday, taking on second-placed Bridgwater 2nds (12.30pm) in what should be a close contest.