Saturday XI versus Warminster 2nd XI
Bears 293-5 45 overs
Warminster 56-9 21.2 overs
Promotion expectations were heightened on Saturday as the late season Bear Flat juggernaut continued its relentless progression towards the summit of Wiltshire League Division 2, with this latest victory being secured in facile (Jay) fashion against relegation threatened Warminster 2s, at their pleasant suburban ground.
Despite only have nine players present at the start, the home side elected to field first, a decision that was perhaps regretted as Mark Gunning and Ashwin Aragwal advanced to 70-0 inside 10 overs, before players 10 and 11 finally arrived at the ground. The benefit of a full complement of fielders enabled Warminster to stem the flow of runs somewhat, though Ashwin in particular continued to score freely as the century partnership was brought up. With Gunners increasingly finding his range too, the merry duo sauntered their way onto and past 200, Aggers bringing up another league century in the process, before the partnership was finally ended on 236 when Gunning was well caught in the gulley for an excellent 89. Ash followed soon after for a majestic 123, allowing Taunton hero, Ross Newman (26), a brief cameo as the Bears pushed onto a gargantuan 293-5 from their 45 overs. The horizontal Andy Strange was nearly timed-out for a second time this season…
The Warminster reply was to prove short-lived, as despite some attacking intent, wickets fell at an alarming rate from the off: Ross (3-20) and Paul Wood (3-24) hitting their straps from the get-go in an opening salvo that left the home side reeling at 36-6. From there, victory was a formality for the Bears, with Nathan Warren and Jay Morris completing the rout as Warminster succumbed to 56 all out (effectively, as batsman 11 did not emerge from the pavilion). Nathan finished with figures of two for no runs and Chris Bence even took a catch. A red letter day indeed.
So, with two games left the Bears now control their own destiny, with victories over Burbage and Biddestone guaranteed to ensure a swift return to Division 1.