THOMAS Cullen struck a match-winning knock of 110 not out as Potterne moved into third place in WEPL Premier One with a six-wicket victory over Bristol, writes JONATHAN LEIGHFIELD.

After winning the toss and opting to bat second on an already used wicket, Neil Clark’s Potterne set about trying to take early wickets and restrict their hosts to a score below 200.

While wickets were not forthcoming at regular intervals, neither were runs for Bristol. Opener Jack Penn managed 40 off 72 balls, while the hosts’ top scorer, Louie Shaw, hit 77 from 89 deliveries.

Cullen also proved vital with the ball as he took two wickets, while Sahan Wijirathne was the most economical of Potterne’s bowlers, claiming 2-25 from his 10 overs as Bristol managed 224-5.

Losing Basil Akram for a golden duck was not part of Potterne’s plan for success, but the Wiltshire side rebuilt well and Cullen’s mammoth knock – combined with the skipper’s 63 – put Potterne on course for back-to-back wins under new captain Clark.

Clark said: “It was probably the best wicket I’ve seen at Bristol.

“Our scorer is really good and produces loads of stats for us, and he said that 200 there wins most games.

“So we were probably a little disappointed that Bristol ended up getting 225.

“I said to the boys that it would probably be quite a difficult chase, but if we make sure we bat 50 overs then we will give ourselves a chance.

“And the way it worked out, we ended up winning it fairly comfortably, which was really pleasing.”

And while Potterne are now within touching distance of leaders Bath following the Somerset club’s first defeat of the season, Clark admits there have been too few complete performances so far to challenge for top spot – something that changed in Saturday’s win.

He said: “It’s probably the first game where we’ve combined the batting and the bowling.

“Although we didn’t bowl them out, we did bowl well and managed to restrict the run-rate.

“Then, the run chase was really pleasing. Tom Cullen batted superbly. He anchored the innings and everyone else just batted around him, so that was great.

“It’s always nice to contribute, especially being back as captain.

“I always want to make those contributions, but it’s really pleasing to get the win.

“I’m not fussed with personal achievements. Getting the win is all that matters.”