CHIPPENHAM climbed to the top of the WEPL Premier Two Glos/Wilts table after a crushing victory over Trowbridge on Saturday, writes JONATHAN LEIGHFIELD.

Winning the toss and electing to field first on a covered pitch and damp outfield, Chippenham set about taking early wickets as they bowled their visitors out for 49.

Only Sam Julyan (15) and Kyle Oakley (14) reached double figures, while five of the Trowbridge batsmen were out for a duck as Chris Munden returned 4-8 from his five overs.

Claiming seven bowling points thanks to their exploits in the first half of the game, Chippenham captain Lee Ward piled praise onto his four strike men as each took at least one wicket with accurate and pacey bowling.

Ward said: “The bowlers bowled really well.

“Obviously it was a damp outfield, so the ball was always going to do a bit in terms of seaming around, but the bowlers have still got to put it in the right areas and take advantage of that.

“They got us to a point where we kept putting more and more pressure on until we ended up bowling them all out for 49.”

In reply, Chippenham reached 51-2 inside 10 overs as Munden (18) and Graeme Van Buuren (14) reached the end with their wickets still intact.

Adeesha Nanayakkara scored 11 from 14 balls, while Ralph Hardwick – who earlier took 1-13 with the ball – did not trouble the scorers in his three-ball stay at the crease.

Ward was pleased with his side’s application with the bat and stressed the importance of picking up as many bonus points as possible if Chippenham are to achieve back-to-back promotions this season.

He said: “The idea, when you’re chasing a low total, is to not get stuck in a rut because that can happen when you’re only chasing 49.

“It’s easy to go into your shell and try and eek it out, but we went out and tried to play normally.

“At the same time, we were mindful of the bonus point situation.

“We can already see that it’s going to be a close league, so I think it will come down to bonus points in the end.

“We’re trying to get as many bonus points as we can, so it was a case of going out and playing properly, but let’s try and keep as many wickets in the shed as we can so that we can take as many points from the game as possible.

“We ended up taking 21 points because we bowled them out for less than 120, which was huge considering eight other teams didn’t actually play a game.

“It put us top of the league and it created a bit of a gap between the teams below us.”

Elsewhere, three other games fell foul of the wet weather – Biddestone v Burbage & Easton Royal, Dumbleton v Goatacre and Stroud v Frocester were all called off without a ball being bowled.

The only other game to take place saw Corsham fall just short of their revised target against Thornbury.

With the game having initially been reduced to 41 overs per side, Dan Davis’ 107 saw Thornbury post 240-8 before Corsham captain Tom Smith led the reply with 77.

More rain reduced the target further as Corsham required 196 from 30 overs, however, at 173-9, the hosts fell 23 runs shy to suffer their fifth defeat of the season.