GARY Chappell marked his return to Bradninch with a match-winning contribution with ball and bat in the six-wicket victory over Lewdown.
Chappell, back at Kensham Park after three years with Exmouth, returned figures of four wickets for seven runs in seven overs as Lewdown were bowled out for 113 in 32 overs.
Without a classy 12-boundary, 78-ball knock of 81 from opener Johan Wessells, the Lewdown total would have been far fewer.
The other 10 Lewdow batsmen made 19 runs between them!
Australian paceman Cameron Suidgeest – without a wicket in his opening spell (0-31 in six) -came back for a second to finish with figures of 4-52 from 10 overs.
Wessells did his best to try and bowl Lewdown back into contention – he claimed three early wickets in a running total of 49 for four after 8.5 overs.
With Andy Buzza, Argentinian Lautaro Musiani, Dan Hardy and skipper Tim Piper all back in the pavilion, Chappell and Ross Acton saw the home side to victory.
The pair added 65 runs for the unbroken fifth wicket with Chappell unbeaten on 48 from 45 balls and Acton 20 not out as the win was sealed off the first delivery of the 21st over.
Skipper Piper had targeted the game as one to win as Lewdown struggled for most of last season and only just avoided relegation.
Piper said it was a decent start to the campaign, especially from the bowlers.
“It was good to see all the bowlers bowling so well – Chappell, Buzza and Suidgeest were the stand-outs, said Piper.
“And it was especially pleasing to see how well we batted considering we went into the game without much batting in the middle under our belts from pre-season.
“Ross Acton did a good job of seeing us over the line as well when he went in at four down.
“Wessels showed what a good player he is again. Apparently Lewdown will be stronger later in the year, when they get a few lads back.
“There were a lot of positives to take through to next week against Budleigh, presuming they have a pitch for us to play on this year.”
Last season’s corresponding match on the second Saturday in May was cancelled as Budleigh’s ground was unfit due to flooding and a replacement venue could not be found.