25th July 2015

 

Stunning Atapattu seven bowls Sway to superb win

SWAY  161-8; MUDEFORD  136

Hants County Div 4 (South)

An astonishing bowling display from Nilantha Attapatu, who took seven-for and was on a hat-trick twice, saw Sway come out on top in a keenly contested game.

After winning the toss and electing to bat first Sway found it difficult going in the face of accurate bowling by an impressive Mudeford attack. Jon Grasham went early, FJ Charton (18) hit two beautiful straight sixes before being bowled and Alex Hall departed cheaply as Sway hit trouble at 36-3.

The ship was steadied by Dave Steadman (30) and Barry Jones (34), before the former was out caught the first ball after drinks and when Atapattu went soon after Sway were 90-5 and back in a spot of bother.

However, Jones and Adam Clark kept things ticking over – with the latter showing his impressive array of sweep shots and good running between the wickets on his way to an excellent, match saving 39 – as Sway recovered for a second time and posted what proved to be a good score.

Knowing they needed early wickets Sway struggled initially as Jon Waller was off line. After the excellent Steadman (1-15) got the initial breakthrough Sway brought on Grasham to pepper the visitors batsman, which he did with aplomb, but the hosts proved desperately unlucky in the face of several edges and play and misses and Mudeford reached 60-1 and looked well on their way.

The game then turned on its head when Atapattu was introduced into the attack. He started off with a terrific double wicket maiden, meaning that at drinks the game was in the balance with the visitors on the same score the hosts were at the same point – 70-3.

From then on it ebbed and flowed – Nathan David (1-34) was bowling well and got the fourth wicket with the score on 89 and then crucially, Atapattu enticed Mudeford’s battling opener A. James (57) to edge to Ryan Drayton.

Soon after Waller snaffled a catch off Grasham and then in the next over Atapattu got two wickets in two balls – the second thanks to a stunning one handed close catch by Waller leaving the hosts cock-a-hoop and Mudeford up against it, as 84-4 had become 115-8.

In the face of the relentlessly accurate Atapattu, Mudeford had no answer and he got the last two wickets – the match ending when the Mudeford skipper hit the ball in the safe hands of Jack Baughan on the boundary as the visitors fell 25 short.

Report by Jon Waller, Reporter New Milton Advertiser & Lymington Times