West of England Premier League
Somerset Division
Frome 214-9 beat Chard 157 by 57 runs

MARK Sanger’s five-fer proved pivotal as champions-in-waiting Frome won by 57 runs at Chard on Saturday, despite Reid Mawdsley’s unbeaten 71 for the hosts.

Chard had 17 regulars missing across the board at the weekend, but still managed to field three teams.

The 1st XI faced the WEPL Somerset leaders, who won the toss and elected to bat first at the Dening Field.

Frome made a good start, with Paul Sanger (39) and Scott Lewis (25) laying the foundations.

But Chard then introduced Mawdsley (2-33 off 10) after six overs, and his off-spin made the difference.

He removed Lewis and Sam Croker (5), to leave the visitors on 59-2.

Chris Scott (0-30 off 10) bowled miserly, but it was the arrival of Jon Dalwood who really put Frome under pressure.

Dalwood claimed 4-43 off 10, finally dismissing Paul Sanger and then Reece Croker (11), to reduce the away side to 96-4.

But Chard were starting to run out of bowling options, and Andy Veal (39) and James Unwin (31) accelerated the scoring.

Akhona Mbanga (0-30 off 10) beat the bat on several occasions without success, but it was a very different story for young debutant Emmanuel Shazad.

He was asked to take care of five overs – and claimed 3-29 in that time!

Dalwood took two more wickets as well, and Frome ended with 214-9 from their 50 overs.

Chard’s reply saw Niall Crouch (1) fall early to the dangerous Reece Croker, but a big second-wicket partnership between Mawdsley (71no) and Mbanga (47) had their side ahead of the required run rate.

But then came the turning point(s), as Mbanga took a swipe at Reece Croker (3-34 off 10) and was caught behind off the last ball before drinks, and Nathan Johnson (1) fell to a blinding catch from Charlie Smith, again off Croker, shortly after the resumption.

That left Chard on 117-3, and then Mark Sanger trapped Harvey Dening (0) lbw.

Three more lbw decisions followed, some more contentious than others, and suddenly the home side had slumped to 132-7.

Sanger finished with 5-32 off 10, and despite Mawdesley finishing unbeaten, Chard were all out for 157 in 40.2 overs.

Now fourth in the table, Chard host North Petherton this coming Saturday (12.30pm).

Petherton are right in the middle of what looks to be a five-way relegation scrap, so will be desperate for victory.