Ankit Badwal was the star of the show as he slammed a 57-ball century to lead Bradninch II to a six wicket win at Axminster 1st XI.
After winning the toss and opting to field first – a decision which caused great consternation amongst his players – Bradninch 2s skipper Chris Acton saw the home side reach 136-3 with 15 of the 45 overs still to be bowled.
However, the team rallied and ‘pulled it back’ well over the closing overs conceding just 45 more runs from the final 15 overs while also claiming five more wickets as Axminster closed on 181-8.
Will Birley, introduced as the fifth bowler – shipped 16 runs in his first over and nine from the first three deliveries of his second, but then struck with a crucial wicket and his last seven-and-a-half overs saw him return 3-25 as he finished with 3-50. Aknit Badwal claimed figures of 2-35 from nine overs while skipper Chris Acton also bagged a brace of wickets – his return being 2-38 from nine. Ryan Shrewsberry bowled as well as he has done form some time to return figures of 1-34 from nine and there was a well controlled two spell shift from James Mills who, though without a wicket, only went for a dozen runs – four of which were wides – in his seven overs. Jordan Biss was the sixth bowler used and he had a most economical return of 0-1 from two – and he bowled overs 42 and 44.
Paul Nott and Will Birley launched the run chase, but Nott fell for four in the third over. Birley was joined by Ankit Badwal and the pair took the reply to 66 when Birley fell for 20.
Connor Carthew then perished in the same over as Birley when he was caught by the same fielder to leave ‘Ninch’ wobbling on 68-3.
However, and crucially, Badwal was still there – and hitting the leather off the ball! He was joined by Ryan Shrewsberry and Badwal powered his way to a century off just 57 deliveries. Indeed, so explosive was his hitting that he needed just 23 scoring shots to register his latest ton! He hit 11 sixes, seven fours, one two and four singles before being trapped leg before wicket to the 59th ball he faced and trooped off to high praise from his team mates with 101 to his name.
The Badwal dismissal left Ninch on 138-4 in the 21st over, but skipper Chris Acton joined Shrewsberry and the pair saw their side home to the most comfortable of wins, crossing the finishing line in 27 overs and five balls.
Acton was not out 25 and Shrewsberry was unbeaten on 14 as Bradninch 2s made it four straight wins this Tolchards Devon League E Division East campaign.
However, it was the Badwal knock that was the ‘talk of the journey home’!