Taunton ended their long run without a win away from Gypsy Lane by beating Bishopston by eight wickets - their second win by such a margin in a row.
On a hot and sticky afternoon, the hosts elected to bat first and had moved carefully to 50 without loss in the 16th over, before a direct hit from a swooping Chris Greenwood at square-leg saw the back of Joe Wenham for 26.
Then, in less than a handful of overs, 93 for one became 106 for six, as Greenwood (two for 31) and spin twin, Graham Fitt (three for 39), shared the five wickets to fall, aided by two excellent catches in the deep from Jack Cooper and Rob Hake, respectively.
Bishopston captain Frank Connelly (45) subsequently launched a spirited recovery, and a wagging tail saw the home side just past the 200-mark for the loss of only two further wickets.
The visitors responded in positive fashion against a lively new ball spell from Ryan Adams, with Tom Abell and Chris Davenport already proving to be a prolific opening partnership. And so it was something of a surprise when Adams snuck one through the defences of Davenport (32), with the score on 64 in the 13th over.
Hugh Kelly’s stay was an all-too-brief one. However, his departure brought Cooper (67 not out) to the crease, and the Taunton skipper added a superb unbroken 129 with Abell for the third wicket, to see his side to victory with more than six overs to spare.
Cooper’s growing maturity and more measured shot selection were evident for all to see, while there are few superlatives left to describe the star qualities of Abell. On this occasion the stats can do the talking, as the Somerset youngster added an undefeated 90 to a tally that now stands at 470 league runs in only five innings at a ‘steady’ average of 235.
The Taunton boys know they’re currently privileged to have Abell within their ranks, and can look forward to entertaining Chew Magna at Gypsy Lane this weekend - the first of two successive home games - with genuine hopes of forcing their way into second spot in the league.
Cooper Associates ‘Man of the Match’ – Tom Abell
© Cricket World 2014