By Dafydd Howells

BARRY Wanderers Cricket Club travelled to the north end of Cardiff on Saturday to take on Whitchurch-Heath’s Third XI.

Stand-in skipper Neil Blundell won the toss and decided to bat first on a pitch still a bit moist from the morning rain.

Blundell and Pete Coleman made a watchful start to the innings and with the ball keeping low, the Whitchurch-Heath bowlers made the Wanderers work for their runs early on.

Blundell was the more aggressive of the two openers and he continued his fine run of form with the bat with some fluid stroke play around the ground.

With 59 runs on the board after 16 overs, Coleman was out for a steady 15, stumped by Shaw off the bowling of Shafiq.

Blundell was joined by Sudesh Duvuru in the middle and after Blundell reached yet another 50 for the season, the pair endeavoured to up the run rate.

Duvuru gave the innings some much needed impetus with several impressive shots around the ground including a ramp shot which delighted the travelling Wanderers supporters.

Together Blundell and Duvuru put on 67 runs before Blundell was out bowled for 73, another superb innings from the Wanderers talisman.

Duvuru would soon follow, out stumped for an excellent 44.

From this point onwards the Wanderers innings failed to ignite with just 39 more runs added after the departure of Duvuru.

The Wanderers finished their 40 overs 176-6, a few runs short of a really competitive total.

In the field, the Wanderers made a dream start with the ball reducing Whitchurch-Heath to 10-3.

Opening the bowling with Venkat Siddu, Blundell took two Whitchurch-Heath wickets supported by a fine catch by Duvuru at gully.

Blundell was involved again with a catch off the bowling of Venkat at deep mid off.

Led by another excellent spell from Venkat (8-0-19-1), the Wanderers kept the pressure on restricting Whitchurch-Heath to 64-3 after 20 overs.

With the game finely poised after drinks, Whitchurch-Heath batsmen Penry and Shaw began to pick up 1s and 2s at regular intervals and the Wanderers needed a breakthrough.

That came courtesy of Kunal Mhadgut removing Penry LBW for 35 breaking a partnership of 73 for the fourth wicket.

Danger man Shaw was still in however and with a required run rate of 6.5 an over with 13 to go, Whitchurch-Heath looked well set to bring home the victory.

The Wanderers were not able to stem the flow of runs in the final stretch of the game and marshalled by the excellent Shaw (who finished on 84 not out in addition to three stumpings in the first innings), the game was lost in the 38th over.

The Whitchurch-Heath Third XI won by five wickets.