Pilgrims 255 (F  E Taylor 76, C A R Esson 50, S G A Walsh 49);Sherborne CC 147 (25.3 overs)  (A D Nurton 4-20, F E Taylor 4-35). Won by 108  runs.

After last year’s extremely close drawn match on the Terraces the Pilgrims were determined to get their first win in three years against Sherborne Cricket Club. Fergus Taylor duly won the toss and opted to bat on a pitch which looked flat and with little in the way of helpful overhead conditions.

Despite this ideal set of circumstances the Pilgrims top order failed to make a decent start finding themselves 13 for 2 and then 35 for 3 as Whiting, Cunliffe and Smibert all departed quickly. It was left to the middle order to get things back on track and Walsh did this admirably with a nicely made 49, whilst he found a perfect ally in Esson who can always adapt his game to the situation and compiled a neat half century. Unfortunately just as he was looking to crank things up he was stumped down the leg-side and this meant that Fergus Taylor was left to try and get the Pilgrims over the 200 mark. This he did wonderfully well, striking the ball to all parts of the ground in making a swash-buckling 76. His brother, Charlie, struck an entertaining 18 at the end of the innings and the home side finished on a well above par score of 255 all out in exactly 40 overs.

It was always going to be a tall order for the Sherborne CC side and when Nurton struck in each of his first 3 overs from the Pavilion End they were well and truly floundering at 10 for 3. The first two wickets were neatly taken by Esson at first slip on the back of well-pitched up away swingers and for the the third wicket Nurton did his best Jimmy Anderson impression (albeit at about 25 mph slower) by defeating the outside edge with the first two deliveries of the over, causing the batsman to shoulder arms at the third only to find it was the in-swinger which proceeded to clatter into the top of off-stump. Nurton finished with 4-20 and although there was some resistance from Kennedy and Guppy in the middle order F Taylor completed a fine all-round performance by picking up four wickets of his own, whilst  Robins mopped things up at the other end.

It was an excellent performance from the Pilgrims and they deserved the 108 run margin of victory (despite some comedic catching attempts from Whiting and C Taylor). As always, the Pilgrims are extremely grateful to Sherborne CC for not only putting out a side on a Monday afternoon but also for allowing us to use their club house for the thoroughly enjoyable evening’s festivities.