Sam gives it a high five

By Mark Elson in Football

MONMOUTH School pupil Sam Swingwood took 5-11 on his competitive debut to help Gloucestershire cruise to a six-wicket win away to Wiltshire in their first ECB U14 Cup match of the season.

The leg spinner ripped through the home team’s middle order, extracting big turn from an otherwise benign surface as Wilts slipped from 53-2 to 102-9 from their 35 overs.

Despite the loss of a couple of late wickets the visitors chased down their target in Devizes with more than 11 overs to spare thanks to 30 not out from Owen Lingard and 37 from Kunal Barman.

Earlier, Glos had won the toss and chose to bowl first in a match that had been reduced to 35 overs-a-side due to rain.

Hamdi Saleem bowled with pace and control at one end while Oliver Wood (2-19) picked up two wickets at the other, including an athletic caught and bowled, to reduce Wilts to 13-2.

The hosts recovered with a partnership of 41 between Toby Kershaw (27) and Jonathon Castleton (19), but their hard work was undone by Swingwood who beat the outside edge with regularity.

The Monmouth Cricket Club player was well-supported by tight bowling from fellow spinners Max Shepherd (0-23) and Barman who claimed the key wicket of Kershaw – bowling him through the gate with a well-flighted delivery.

Saleem (1-12) made a breakthrough on his return to the attack, but Glos were unable to prize the last Wilts wicket as they closed on 102-9.

In reply, the visitors lost Parkend’s Michael Burger (5) – the hero of the last match – with the score on seven but fought back through Lingard and Barman.

As the partnership developed the pair ran well between the wickets to keep the total ticking over.

Barman looked increasingly fluent with a number of square drives for four in his score of 37.

He fell with the score on 67 and although two more wickets followed, the assured presence of Lingard ensured the result never really looked in doubt.

Glos next play Devon in Bristol on Sunday, June 25.

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