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It was an up and down weekend for cricket clubs across Caerphilly County Borough as four of the seven sides claimed victory in the South East Wales Cricket League.
Newbridge kicked proceedings off with a victory in a must-win clash with relegation rivals Panteg at home.
The hosts opened and only lost four wickets as they set a strong 257 for the visitors to chase. Panteg made a decent effort of the run chase, but fell just short by 31 runs. Newbridge took the full 20 points but remain in 11th spot in division one.
In division two, Blackwood Cricket Club were looking to extend their lead at the top as they welcomed fifth-placed Whitchurch Heath.
Whitchurch posted a 194, all out after 38 overs. Blackwood managed the chase with relative ease; winning by five wickets after just 32 overs. Blackwood still sit top of the table with promotion firmly in their sights
But it was a day to forget in division three as Pontymister and Crosskeys looked to stay in the race for promotion as they faced top-of-the-table Barry Athletic.
Pontymister and Crosskeys set a measly 97 all out for the visitors to chase after some fabulous bowling. Barry’s batsmen took full advantage of their position, winning by ten wickets and leaving the hosts stranded in third.
However, there was success elsewhere in division three, as Crumlin visited Radyr with their strong recent form propelling them up the table.
Crumlin set a manageable 215 for Radyr to chase as the game was always going to be close. Indeed it was, as Radyr ran out of overs just ten runs behind Crumlin.
Those 19 points moved Crumlin into fourth, with third-place Pontymister and Crosskeys now within touching distance.
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Machen Cricket Club return to winning ways
Machen’s first XI returned to winning ways with a 66-run win over Abercynon at the Welfare Ground after their first defeat of the season the previous week, to resume progress towards the division four title.
Machen made 269-7 with opener Devinder Singh hitting a quick 47 to ensure a flying start, before middle-order batters Mike Fussell (41 not out) and Gazzy Jones (38) kept the scoreboard moving quickly. But the real fireworks were provided by Arbab ‘Boom Boom’ Buland who smashed four sixes in his 51 off 24 balls as the ball regularly ended up in the river.
Abercynon were then restricted to 203-8, with three wickets each for Murad Mughal and Ahsan Naqash.
The seconds travelled to Sudbrook and won by five wickets on a dustbowl of a wicket, with a metronomic bowling spell from evergreen captain Nigel Hicks (4-7) helping restrict the home side to 144 for seven. Machen then slumped to 32 for four on the difficult pitch, but Rhys Mellor-Cretney, with a classy 51 not out, steered them to victory in a stand of 83 with Dean Lewis.
The result takes Machen seconds into second place in division 11 as they approach a tricky home fixture with leaders South Wales Sri Lankans, while the first team make the short trip to Ponthir on Saturday, August 6. The Sunday XI host Penarth Sports the following day in a chance to field more squad members and youngsters.
Report by Machen Cricket Club
Abercarn were once again the underdogs in a division six matchup against home side Pontnewynydd – with relegation still a risk.
With Pontnewynydd only setting a weak 131 for the visitors to chase, Abercarn would have been confident in getting the job done. It wasn’t to be however, as Abercarn only managed 101, all out after 33 overs.
Abercarn are now only ten points off bottom – with a big finish to the season needed.
With Cefn Fforest and Maesycwmmer’s game in division nine postponed, they move down a spot to into second but with promotion hopes still very much alive after 14 games played.
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