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Ammanford off to winning start

Photo by Lawrence Molloy

AMMANFORD got off to a victorious if confusing start to their 2021 campaign when they beat Neath by five wickets at the Park.

Home skipper Alun Evans invited Neath to bat after winning the toss, and it proved a wise decision as local schoolboy Owen Davies made early inroads into the Neath line-up, taking the first three wickets with the score on 19.

A brief recovery took Neath to 66 for 4, but thereafter a steady fall of wickets from controlled spells of spin bowling took Ammanford back on top and Neath were dismissed for 154 after just 40 of their allocated 50 overs.

Scott Matthews top-scored for Neath with 34, supported by Adam Sylvester (30) and J Konner-Evans (22).

For Ammanford Alun Evans and Matthew Fisher took two wickets each following Owen Davies’s 3 for 21.

Ammanford were able to bat for 11 overs before the tea interval, during which time they amassed 55 runs for the loss of two wickets.

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It was during the tea interval that confusion began to reign as rain began to fall.

The teams were unable to resume play until 7.25 pm, the latest a match could re-start. The Duckworth-Lewis system was invoked and Ammanford were set a target of 80 in 20 overs.

This meant they had 9 overs in which to score 25 runs.

Dan Roberts, who had looked so good before the interval, was dismissed for 19, and it was left to Rhys Davies (11no) to accept the anchor role and ensure, with help from Josef Davies (12no), that Ammanford passed Neath’s score inside 18 overs.

However, it seemed Duckworth-Lewis demanded that the game continue for 20 overs for a result to be valid.

Ammanford were in the unprecedented position of having to bat for a further two overs despite having overtaken their allotted target. They finished on 88 for 5.

None of this will matter since a win is a win, and the best way to start the season.

Next week, Ammanford are down the road to Pontarddulais.