CHIPPING Sodbury continued their preparations for the new league season with a highly encouraging 33-run away to Biddestone that featured a century on debut from Jiwanjot Singh, writes Steve Hill.

The club’s overseas player for the summer arrived only two days before this friendly fixture, but settled quickly at the crease to dominate a Sodbury total of 180-8 from 40 overs after winning the toss.

Batting at three, the former India A representative compiled exactly 100 off 96 balls (ten fours), receiving useful support from Josh Morris (23).

Biddestone, who play two levels above Sodbury, then found it hard to get into gear with the bat thanks to excellent opening spells from Ben Waldron (2-12 from five) and Morris.

Singh (2-28 off eight) kept the heat on, as did Mason Poole (1-21 from five), Eddie Holden (1-34 from seven) and Dan Brown (0-28) with fine fielding producing three run outs.

Sodbury now prepare for their opening Gloucestershire County League Division One clash on Saturday, at home to promoted local rivals Hawkesbury Upton (1pm).

Sodbury 2nds were also in winning form, seeing off neighbours Tormarton by nine wickets at the Ridings.

The visitors were restricted to 160-6 from their 40, opener Rob Watts (44) and Mark Tovey (32) top scoring as Rob Higgs (3-4 from five) led the bowling attack with wickets too for Tom Wilson, Isaac Havard and Craig Scully.

The target proved to be well within range for Sodbury, captain Jim Davis retiring on 50 and fellow opener Scully compiling 37 before Jake Kirkham (52 not) got to work to complete the win.

Sodbury 3rds, meanwhile, battled hard in a 103-run home reverse against their Bradley Stoke counterparts who piled up an imposing 252-5, Paul Nethercote and Rob Winfield both taking two wickets apiece.

Plenty of Sodbury batsmen got off to encouraging starts, Chris Meredith hitting 26 and four players reaching 20, but no one was able to go on and play the long innings required as Stoke closed out a 103-run win.

Sodbury 2nds are now away on Saturday to Cranham in Division Four of the GCCL, while the 3rds are at home to St George Valley in Division Eight of the Bristol & District League and the 4ths begin their Division 15 challenge away to Golden Hill 7ths.