CRICKET: Ward eyes survival push

Chippenham captain Lee Ward

Chippenham captain Lee Ward

First published in Sport by

CHIPPENHAM captain Lee Ward is hoping that the Glos/Wilts Division relegation battle will be settled without the interference of the elements.

The Hardenhuish Park men find themselves eighth in the table, just seven points ahead of the drop zone, after last weekend’s 23-run loss at county rivals Warminster.

Ward saw plenty of positives in his side’s performance on Saturday and has his fingers crossed that Chippenham will be given every chance to secure their place in the division.

“There are four games left and I really hope that the weather doesn’t play a part in it – hopefully we get to play every game and the teams that deserve to stay up, stay in the division,” said Ward.

“It’s been a really strange league this year. The teams near the bottom have done really well against the sides at the top of the table and then lost to the ones around them.

“It has done a lot for the competitiveness of the league and we’ll try and get some consistency in our last four games. We’ve still got to play a game against Westbury, which will be really important, but we’ve also got to do our best in the other ones too.

“We know what we did wrong last weekend. Pete Hickerton batted really well last weekend but we bowled to him in the wrong areas. But there were still some good batting displays from us and we gave it a right go.”

Chippenham put their hosts in to bat first after winning the toss but Pete Hickerton drove Warminster to 251-8, as he smashed an unbeaten 134 from 114 deliveries.

Paul Bates (63) and Jack Humphreys (45) did their best to launch a fightback but the home bowlers did enough to sufficiently turn the screw, with Rory Cullinan bowling ten overs for just 13 runs as Chippenham fell short on 228-9.

Elsewhere, there was disappointment for Biddestone as they slipped to a crushing nine-wicket loss at struggling Westbury.

The hosts opted to bowl first after winning the toss and tore through Jamie Mitchell’s men, with David Wade (4-23) and Simon Rose (3-27) doing the bulk of the damage.

Biddestone’s Andy Flynn (28) and Dwaine Perry (22) were the only visiting batsmen to reach double figures as Mitchell’s men were dismissed for just 98 early in the 43rd over.

Rose (41 not out) then saw Westbury over the line as the weather threatened, with the home side reaching 72-1 in little over 13 overs.

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