TAHIR Afridi was the star of the show as his five-wicket haul helped Potterne claim their 13th win of the Premier One season away at Taunton St Andrews on Saturday and move them onto the cusp of title victory in the process, writes JONATHAN LEIGHFIELD.

The left-arm bowler claimed figures of 5-35 at The Wyvern Club in Somerset and is now just seven scalps away from breaking the record for most wickets taken in a single Premier One season (86).

Potterne were sent out to bat first on a sticky wicket and after navigating their way to 71-1, a handful of top-order dismissals meant a rebuild was necessary.

Sahan Wijerathne (33) and Jack Bramwell (36) pushed Potterne up to 225 before Afridi weaved his magic in Taunton’s chase, bowling the home side out for 201.

Admitting he would not have complained if Potterne had gone on to lose against the division’s bottom side, captain Neil Clark felt an incorrect decision probably turned momentum in favour of his side.

Clark said: “We lost some early wickets. It was a fairly difficult pitch to score on – it was doing a little bit and stopping in the wicket.

“We ended up being about 120-6 from a few unlucky dismissals and a few good balls, but we battled really hard to get 225, which is maximum batting points. We thought that would be a really good score on that wicket.

“Taunton came out and batted quite well and they probably should have won the game in the end.

“But James Regan got a really bad decision, which probably cost them the game.

“As soon as he got out, we ran through them a little bit, which was nice because they were flying. They only needed 100 with seven or eight wickets in hand with 30 overs still to play.”

Afridi – who ultimately proved to be the difference on Saturday – has already taken 80 wickets throughout 2019 and is just 20 away from a career milestone of 800 since his career began in 2002.

Potterne skipper Clark could not speak highly enough of his premier bowler, and said the control Afridi offers is what sets him apart from the rest.

Clark said: “I often bowl him eight or nine overs at the top because he offers so much control and he quite often gets some early wickets.

“It didn’t quite happen on Saturday, so I held him back for four overs. As soon as we got Regan out, I brought him back on to try and regain that control and clean up the tail.

“He’s been fantastic all year and he was rewarded with five wickets once again.”