Report by Steve Hill. Photos by Brian Rossiter.

Frocester are through to the last 16 of The Cricketer Village Cup after defeating Yelverton Bohemians in a dramatic bowl off.

Play in this first national round tie began on schedule with the Devon visitors, who lost the toss, reaching 15-0 off 1.5 overs before the clouds opened and sent players rushing for cover.

So much rain fell that further play was impossible hence the need for a bowl off to produce a winner ahead of the next round on Sunday.

All 22 players began preparing to send down one delivery at a set of three stumps and two bails.

Yelverton won the toss and elected to go first. But, incredibly, seven players from each side all missed the timbers as nerves really began to take hold.

The eighth Yelverton player was also wide before Frocester skipper Dan Whincup finally broke the deadlock with a delivery that struck middle stump to cheers from his team-mates.

The next Yelverton player also failed to hit, and that was the cue for Aaron Tuck to step up and hit middle to give his side an unassailable 2-0 lead and clinch a last 16 trip to Cookham Dean, of Berkshire, who defeated Sarisbury Athletic by two wickets.

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Whincup said: “We had a strategy of starting with our bowlers to get a few hits up front but unfortunately that didn’t happen!

“We were all in unknown territory as none of us had ever been in a bowl off before, and we were starting to wonder what would happen if everyone missed.

“It would then have gone down to sudden death so we were all getting even more nervous and I must admit my legs were starting to twitch but thankfully we came through.”

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It was a good day, too, for WEPL rivals Dumbleton who are also into the last 16 following a 54-run home victory against Holmesfield.

Captain Adam Stuart top scored on just 24 as the East Midlands group winners struggled to reach 127 but it proved to be more than enough as teenager Ryan Kilmister (3-5 from four) and Aditya Rai (3-16 from six) found a testing line and length.

Dumbleton are now home on Sunday against Milford Hall, of Staffordshire, who won a bowl out against Weekley & Warkton.