Vranch rolls back the years to land another fivefer as Saints win at Cullompton

PUBLISHED: 18:31 29 June 2011

Whimple's Trevor Griffin keeps wicket against Bridestowe on Saturday. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref mhsp 1180-24-11SH To order your copy of this photograph visit www.midweekherald.co.uk and click on myphotos24

Whimple's Trevor Griffin keeps wicket against Bridestowe on Saturday. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref mhsp 1180-24-11SH To order your copy of this photograph visit www.midweekherald.co.uk and click on myphotos24

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Dave Vranch took a fantastic 5-37 and was well supported by Raj Rao 4-25 to bowl Cullompton out for 126 as Topsham hold onto their lead at the top of the table, writes Ross Treleaven.

Topsham arrived to Cullompton on a hot and muggy day and were put in to bat after the skipper lost the toss. It was evidently a bowlers’ wicket as the ball was swinging well and cutting off the pitch. Sadly, the odd ball kept a little low and this did for the openers Raj Rao and Dan Williams. Tom Richardson departed soon after, inside edging one onto his stumps. However, Saad Choudhary, called up from Topsham 2nds, held the innings together with a patient 35 and built a couple of good partnerships with Joe Thomlinson (16) and Ross Treleaven (19). The end of the Saints innings was soon on the cards when Choudhary was out LBW. Topsham finished on 136 - an under par score.

With the sun drying out the wicket during tea, the Saints knew the wicket would probably flatten out a little, but this only spurred the bowlers on. Ross Treleaven found some swing early on, but was unable to make the batsman play enough, so on came new signing Rao who bowled fast and accurately at the stumps, eventually earning the wicket of D Percy. Callum Treleaven and Adrian Miller bowled some good balls, but too many went to the fence so Treleaven senior brought himself back on at the other end. He picked up a wicket courtesy of a great catch by Joe Thomlinson at Point. Cullompton then progressed to 81 for 2 after 28 overs.

Runs were now hard to come by and pressure was starting to tell. With Treleaven continuing to bowl tightly, he brought on Dave Vranch at the other end and this became a key point in the match. With one end tied down, batsmen were keen to score off Vranch and this played into the hands of Topsham with Miller taking two excellent catches at Long On and Tom Richardson reacting quickly at Point.

Treleaven’s spell finished with only 19 runs coming off 15 overs. Rao returned again and was able to pick up key wickets with swinging yorkers and a bit of help from the pitch. With Cullompton needing 11 to win, Rao bowled hard at the stumps and trapped the Cullompton skipper leg-before with a ball that didn’t get up off the pitch. Topsham winning by 10 runs!

Skipper Ross Treleaven said: “We were able to keep a side under 130 for the second time in two weeks, which shows what an excellent bowling attack we have at the moment. We took all of our chances in the field and kept positive and were able to come out of this with a great result. However, our batsmen really need to knuckle down: lots of us got starts but are unable to kick on when it matters. Anyway, we are still Top and that is the target. We need to carry on winning matches and keep our momentum going till the end of the season. A great game of cricket on a fantastic day. Well done Saints!”

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