BARNSTAPLE & Pilton’s winning streak shows no signs of ending as they made it five on the trot in the D Division East with a four-wicket triumph away to Budleigh Salterton 2nd XI.
Kamal Posapalli, an Indian ex-pat living and working in the town, top scored with 82 not out in Budleigh’s total of 237 all out.
Veteran Neil Murrin (21) and Dan Messom (21) got Budleigh into action before Clive Ball (3-39) sparked a collapse to 77 for five.
Posapalli and Lee Russell (39) hoisted exactly 100 for the sixth wicket to give the Budleigh bowlers a fighting chance.
Jimmer Thomas (3-64) and Joe Hastie (2-54) accounted for all of Budleigh’s lower order.
Run rate came into play after a stoppage for rain and left Barnstaple & Pilton 37 overs to make 204 to win. They got there with three balls to spare.
Rob Holm got the chase established with 49 before Thomas (79no) and skipper Lee Cole (33no) put on 88 unbroken to win the game.
Barnstaple & Pilton remain fourth in table, but have closed the gap on third-placed Shobrooke Park to a point.
Skipper Lee Cole knows the team are in the promotion picture now, not that he wants to think about it for too long.
“Another great game to watch for the neutral and to chase down yet another total is encouraging,” said Cole.
“We won’t get too carried away and you wont hear any of us mentioning the ‘P’ word as there is a lot off cricket left to play.
“We seem to be enjoying our cricket once again within the club I’m a firm believer that in any sport you enjoy it more when you are winning.
“People may disagree, but with all of the doom and gloom we have had within the last couple of years – players leaving and having to pull our second team – we seem to be moving in the right direction.”
Cole confessed the rain probably did B&P a favour as chasing the original total could have been tough.
Plusses were bowling spells from Clive Ball and fit-again George Elnaugh and the early order batting.
“Jimmer Thomas will take the applause with his 77 not out, which took the game away form Budleigh Salterton,” said Cole. “He has been a great signing for us (from North Devon) not just for his batting but his bowling as well.
“Batting-wise Rob Holm looked good and deserved a half century.”