Cam 1st XI 143-7 beat Westbury-on-Severn 1st XI 139-10 by 3 wickets

Cam continued their unbeaten start to the season despite a middle order collapse as they chased down Westbury-on-Severn’s modest total with three wickets remaining, writes George Dolling.

Cam captain Ryan Malpass opted to field first and his decision looked to be the right one as opening bowlers George Dolling and Ryan Western limited the scoring early on. Dolling made the first breakthrough as he had away captain Alex Wyman caught behind by wicketkeeper Jake Dolbear for a duck.

Dolling collected the second wicket as Adam Holloway held on to a sharp catch at cover to dismiss Anderson for 7 before Ben Holloway saw the back of Hockaday thanks to a catch by Western at mid-wicket. Pete Hall proved miserly as ever as his spin tied down an end and lulled a number of batsmen into false strokes as he ran through the middle order.

Hall trapped Martin LBW for 10 before inducing Morgan to sky a simple catch to Deakin as Westbury continued to lose regular wickets. Gayther was caught behind by Dolbear for 16 and when Edgington offered a simple return catch, Hall had collected 4-20, a spell that had put Cam firmly in control.

Amidst Hall’s flurry of wickets, Ben Holloway had opening batsman Neil Wyman (51) stumped by Dolbear, as the only telling contributor of Westbury’s innings departed when looking well-set for a significant score. Holloway (4-34) returned for his second spell and duly polished off the tail as he had Jarvis (26) held by Western on the boundary before trapping Hargreaves LBW for 6 as Westbury’s innings ended with almost 10 overs remaining.

With a number of Cam’s batsmen in great early season form, Cam were full of confidence as they set about chasing down their target. It looked to be business as usual during the early exchanges as Cam openers Jim Seal (44) and Pete Hall (36) got things off to a flying start as both men regularly found the boundary and refused to let the bowlers settle. The score had advance rapidly to 83 in just the 12th over before both openers departed in quick succession as Hockaday collected the wickets of both men.

Ryan Malpass opted to anchor the chase but wickets continued to fall around him as Cam unexpectedly stumbled with victory within sight. Hockaday continued to pick up wickets as Alex Ballard (8) drove powerfully straight back to the bowler before Dolbear (12) and Adam Holloway (2) both mistimed their shots to poor deliveries and offered simple catches which were duly taken by the Westbury fielders.

A big swing and miss from Western gave Hockaday (6-30) yet another wicket but by this point the target was very much within reach. Deakin made 7 before he was caught behind off the bowling of Martin before Malpass, who had remained at the crease whilst the wickets tumbled, saw Cam home with a crunching four as he remained unbeaten on 21 as Cam completed their chase with 16.4 overs remaining.

A trip to second placed Aston Ingham on Saturday should provide league leaders Cam’s sternest test so far as they look to keep their unbeaten run going.