ISLAMNABI Ahmadzai’s burst of 4-15 from eight overs helped pave the way for Stroud to get the much-delayed Courage West of England Premier League season off to a fine start with a seven-wicket victory away to Hatherley & Reddings.
The on-going Coronavirus crisis forced WEPL to abandon its scheduled league programme and devise new 2020-only divisions for a seven-week competition after the Government gave the green light earlier this month for the sport to return at recreational level.
And Stroud, placed in Covid Group F, hit the ground running with a fine team effort on a day when wet weather had the last word in many matches.
Hatherley, who won the toss, were restricted to a total of 79-6 from a rain-reduced 24 overs, opener Dan Brabham top scoring on 40 before he fell victim to the excellent Ahmadzai.
Opener Callum Gegg (27) and brother and skipper Louis (20) then took the fight to Hatherley with Chris Job (18 not) wrapping up the spoils
Cheltenham, meanwhile, were seven-wicket home victors over Rockhampton, Kieran Smith (47) and Mike Kelly (41) sharing an unbroken stand of 79.
Visitors Dumbleton dodged the showers to trump Frocester by five wickets, Ed Bragg top scoring on 54 while there was also a fine return of 4-25 from eight for Dan Holland.
Brothers Marc (88) and Dan Lezar (80) put on an unbroken 134 for Thornbury who, in the rain, completed a 121-run DLS home defeat of Gloucester, Tom Bradley ripping through the visitors’ top order with a haul of 5-8 from five.
There were two results in Covid Group H. Ed Goolden (3-28) and Jon Tegg (59) shone in Corse & Staunton’s 48-run home triumph over Bourton Vale, and opener Ross Martin top scored on 47 in Painswick’s three-wickets home success over Cheltenham Civil Service.
In Covid Group B, Winterbourne lost away to Clevedon, while Stapleton overcame Golden Hill – formerly known as Bristol YMCA – by six wickets in Covid Group G thanks to captain Olly Sharp’s breezy 64 off only 32 balls (four fours, five sixes).