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Ammanford dispatch Port Talbot Town in Premier League T20 Cup Campaign Opener

Ammanford dispatch Port Talbot Town in Premier League T20 Cup Campaign Opener

Rhodri Huw Davies3 Jun - 15:35
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Ammanford bounced back from a tough defeat on Saturday with a thumping victory over Port Talbot at the Park in Sunday's T20 Cup Round 1 clash.

1st Team vs. Port Talbot Town CC (Home) @ Ammanford Park

Ammanford eventually met Port Talbot Town in the first round of the South Wales Premier Cricket League Twenty20 Knockout Cup, following a series of attempts to play a fixture that was originally scheduled for Sunday, 5 May.

Port Talbot's veteran skipper, Josh Tobin won the toss on a gloriously sunny afternoon at Ammanford Park and elected to bat on a freshly prepared wicket.

Left Arm Spinner, Fahad Sabir and seamer Owen Davies shared the new ball for Ammanford and removed The Pirates' opening pair in their first overs, leaving the Pirates two down for just 8 runs after 2 overs.

Sabir then claimed the wicket of former Port Talbot captain Barney Huxtable, who could only add a further 2 to the total.

Rajesh Dhobi (50) and Ryan Evans moved the Pirates' to 56, before all-rounder Xavie Clarke trapped Evans lbw for 10 in the 10th over.

Dohbi lasted a further 4.4 overs, before he was stumped by deputy wicket-keeper Gruff Owen off the bowling of Cian Roach, who came into the starting 11 late following further overnight illness to usual wicket-keeper Rhodri Davies.

The only other notable contributions from the Port Talbot batsmen were Amit Sharma (23) and Ryan Thomas (17), as they ended their innings on 138-5 at the halfway stage.

The Ammanford bowlers shared the wickets, Sabir (2), Owen Davies (1), Xavie Clarke (1) and Cian Roach (1), in another impressive display of fielding from the young squad capably lead by new season skipper Rhys Davies.

Clarke and Sabir were sent out to open the innings by their skipper Rhys Davies and immediately set out their stall to chase down an under-par total on a glorious afternoon at the sun-soaked Ammanford Park.

Clarke smashed the first over for 9, the second went for 8 and the third went for 12, before Sabir was dismissed by Tobin with Port Talbot's defence of their lowly score already looking to be in tatters.

The onslaught continued as Ammanford's Aussie import, Stephan JM Muller entered the party, dispatching Tobin for consecutive boundaries in his first two balls at the crease.

The pair of Clarke and Muller took the score from 29-1 in the 4th over to 63-1 at the end of the batting powerplay (6 overs), as the Pirate bowling attack looked down and out.

The target was inevitably passed in the 11th over.

Clarke finished on 95*, smashing 10 fours and 7 sixes, from 40 balls, ending with a monstrous strike rate of 237.50, bringing some much needed joy back to the Ammanford Balconiers, after a tough result on Saturday against Premier League debutants, Pentyrch.

Muller played a more than capable supporting role at the other end, notching a further 26* from his 18 deliveries faced, with a couple of fours and 2 sixes to round off an impressive display of hitting.

Ammanford progressed to the next round of the competition with a 9 wicket victory, where they will travel to play Ynystawe at their Maes Yr Afon ground in the coming weeks. A win against Ynystawe will put them a win away from sealing a spot at Finals Day of the Premier League T20 Cup, which they last won in 2018 in front of a raucous travelling army of Balconiers at Glamorgan's HQ, Sophia Gardens, Cardiff.

Meanwhile, Ammanford will now turn their attention back to the Welsh Cup (40 overs), as they travel to face familiar cup opponents Neyland of the Pembroke league on Sunday, 9 June. The match will be a 1pm start at Neyland's Athletic Ground, SA73 1TH.



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