FAIZAN Riaz was Plymouth’s match winner in a nail-biting victory over Paignton in game that went right down to the wire.
Riaz slammed 107 en-route to his fourth Premier ton of the season in Plymouth’s total of 250 all out.
The Pakistani all-rounder has so far scored 677 league runs at an average of 84.63 and is on course to better his 2018 total of 1,100.
Riaz and Joe Hagan-Burt (45) put on 90 for the third wicket and there was an additional stand of 63 with skipper Jon Varcoe.
Paignton were 197 for three in reply with 10 overs to go with Luke Medlock (43) and Dan Wolf (88) the not-out batsman.
Richard Ashworth (20) and Anthony Alleyne (25) had chipped in before Medlock and Wolf embarked on a fourth-wicket stand of 153.
Wickets started to trickle in the last 10 overs and with one over to go Paignton needed seven to win with two wickets intact. Riaz took one and the other was a run-out that won the game for Plymouth by one run with one ball to go. It could not have been much tighter.
It was the first time this season Plymouth had won on successive Saturdays and the result took them up to fourth in the table.
Varcoe said: “It was a great game of cricket and the atmosphere at Paignton was top notch.
“We knew that the wicket of Wolf would be key and that if we got that, it would be tough for the new batters to come in and score quickly.
“When it got down to the pressure moments we kept our cool and got the job done.”
George Benton, the Paignton captain, felt it was one that got away but not a huge setback to his team’s title aspirations.
“We are still second in the division and still in a very strong position,” said Benton.
“We aren't going to dwell on the iffs of the game as we are used to things going against us but we will come back stronger and better from this.”
Reviewing the game Benton said: “Plymouth started well and had a very good partnership and, of course Riaz, scored the majority of their runs.
“But we fought back and restricted them well in the end.
“At one stage we were very much cruising, but some good bowling by Plymouth changed the game and we threw the victory away.”