PURTON skipper Aaron Lee hailed opener Mohamed Cook as the best batsman in WEPL Wiltshire after his fourth century in the league this season all but secured their safety from relegation on Saturday.

Cook scored 114 not out for Purton as they claimed an eight-wicket win at home to Marlborough, a result that moved Lee’s side 38 points clear of the bottom three with two games left to play.

South African Cook has scored 771 runs in 12 WEPL matches for Purton in 2018 at an average of 77.10 – and Lee says his contribution for the side cannot be under-estimated.

“It was a much-needed win,” said Lee, whose side suffered a rain-off last weekend and a heavy 183-run loss the week before that.

“We have not been on the right side of results recently, so it was good to set that right and get back moving in the right direction.

“It looks like three teams could go down this year, so although we are not mathematically safe yet, it would take a lot to turn it around now after this win.

“I think it is fair to say that Mohamed is one of the best, if not the best, batsmen in the division.

“He is a fantastic cricketer and he has really made his mark for us this year – and he is a really nice guy to go along with it too.

“He has a very simple approach to the game. He hits the ball hard, but he has still got to go out there and do it. More often than not for us this season, he has.”

Prior to Cook’s heroics, Patrick Whittaker had set Purton on the way to victory with fine figures of 5-35 to bowl Marlborough out for 152.

Opener Cook then single-handedly led the successful run chase as Purton got to a winning 153-2 in the 23rd over of their reply.

Lee said: “We didn’t actually start particularly well with the ball. Imran (Ashaf) bowled nicely, but I didn’t offer him any real support.

“Adam (Woolford) and Elijah (Samuel) then came on and bowled tightly and got us in control of the game.

“Patrick then bowled beautifully. He took two caught and bowled chances in his five-for and I am really pleased for him.”

Elsewhere, Royal Wootton Bassett’s survival is not mathematically certain either after they lost by 75 runs at Calne.

Darren Beasant’s side are one point and one place above Purton in the table, so are 39 clear of the potential drop zone.

Sean Adams hit 103 to help Calne post 225-9 off their 50 overs, with Mark Lazenby picking up three wickets for Bassett.

Calne’s Elliot Bodman and Pavraj Lochab then claimed three wickets themselves as Bassett were bowled out for 150 in reply inside 43 overs.

Swindon were involved in a rare tie in their home match against Corsham.

Captain Alex Kill took four wickets as Corsham were bowled out for 216 inside 35 overs, with Peter Dennett and Will Wales scoring 49 each.

Having looked set fair to chase that down on 140-3, Swindon stuttered in the second half of their innings and were still on 216 themselves after the final ball was bowled.

Adam Tucker top scored with 43 not out and Conor Taylor added 42, while Ned Jones and Jack Humphreys took three wickets each for Corsham.

Lechlade’s tough season at the bottom of the Premier Two Glos/Wilts table continued at the weekend as they forfeited their match at home to Trowbridge.