LECHLADE new boy Bradley Dial opened his account with a debut century as Lechlade comfortably beat Westbury & District by 91 runs at the Manor Ground in the WEPL Glos/Wilts Division.
South African Dial opened the batting and was quick to stamp his quality and authority on the game when he drove the first ball to the boundary for four and went on to score 14 off the first over as he made his intentions clear.
Joe Breet joined the youngster at the crease following Oli Thornley’s dismissal and the pair quickly turned the scoreboard, racking up the runs freely and adding 79 to the score before Breet was dismissed lbw for 39.
Will Nichols joined Dial and they built steadily on the total, with Lechlade’s overseas player completing his debut ton in the 28th over off 90 balls.
He was dismissed four balls later, however, trapped lbw by Martin Dolman, and a mini Lechlade collapse followed as they lost four wicket for 17 runs off just 48 deliveries.
Arran Dickinson slowly steadied the ship, scoring 63 off 55 balls to take Lechlade to 270 before he was bowled by Tom Cullen. With a good score on the board Asanka Vithanage struck out to add considerably to the Lechlade total in the final three overs. Vithanage finished 40 not out from 20 balls as Lechlade closed on 313.
Westbury got off to a steady start in attempting to chasing down the Lechlade total, scoring 41 off the first 10 overs, but once Michael Craigs had dismissed both the Westbury openers - Daniel Gill and Cullen - in the eighth and 10th overs, Westbury never looked like getting close to the Lechlade total.
Westbury wickets fell regularly, as the batsmen tried to wrestle back the initiative from the Lechlade bowling attack. Vithanage put the squeeze on the Westbury run rate with a 10-over spell for just 29 runs, in which he picked up three wickets, and despite defiant knocks by Jared McDonald (37), David Wade (62) and Rob Hislop (34) Westbury fell 91 runs short at the close of the innings. Craigs finished with 5-41 off his 10 overs as he picked the last two wickets of the day.
Dial said after the game: “I wanted to make a good contribution in a winning start at the beginning of the day and I am well pleased with my performance and the result. I don’t think it could have gone much better for me or the team.”
Lechlade captain Breet was also upbeat, adding: “We have got off to a great start to the season. It wasn’t easy to day and the boys kept going to the end. We are batting well as a unit posting two 300-plus scores and the bowlers are on top of their game as well. All in all I am very satisfied with today and how we have started the season.”