WOOTTON Bassett have set the Wiltshire League title battle up for a titanic conclusion after their dramatic victory over table-topping Malmesbury.
Bassett secured a one-wicket success with three balls to spare on Saturday, hauling themselves to within a point of their opponents in the process.
With four games left, and Bassett and Malmesbury both playing Collingbourne, Swindon Civil Service and Hinton Charterhouse, Ryland’s Way skipper Darren Beasant knows it’s down to a straight shoot-out for top spot.
“It blows it wide open for the next four weeks,” Beasant said. “We play the same teams as them except for one.
“The next four weeks are now massive, we’ve got to pick up as many points as we can.
“It’s a points shoot-out for four weeks.”
Bassett restricted their guests to 231-7 batting first before Jack Paish and Beasant hit half-centuries to put the hosts in a commanding position during the chase.
However, wickets fell at regular intervals to give Bassett hearts a minor scare before Akash Sharma helped the tail find the runs they needed to secure a valuable victory.
“They come out pretty hard normally and they did again on Saturday,” Beasant said. “I think they put on 85-odd for the first wicket in no time. We found ourselves under quite a lot of pressure, we weren’t at our best and we missed four or five chances.
“It wasn’t ideal in the field. But from something like 165-3 we fought back really well to limit them to 230-odd.
“We kept chipping away and the guys did well. They came hard at us. The outfield was wet but 230 was probably par but would take some chasing.
“Sam and Jack put on 50-odd for the first wicket then fell pretty quickly. Me and Jack Paish put on 110 and we needed about 50 off the last 10 with eight wickets left and you think we’re cruising.
“We lost quick wickets and then Akash Sharma was out of this world with the lower order.
“He got 29 off 20-odd balls and the boys were pretty pleased with it.”