CRICKET: A birthday treat

WILTSHIRE batsman Jayden Levitt helped himself to the perfect birthday present this week as the county maintain their flawless season so far.

On Monday, Levitt marked his 28th birthday by whacking a century of 104 to contribute to Wiltshire’s 97-run Unicorns Championship Western Division victory over Dorset at Corsham.

Wiltshire had set their opponents a mammoth run chase of 425 on Tuesday’s final day before bowling out Dorset midway through the afternoon to move top of the pile in the Western Division table.

“We had a barbeque on the Sunday night with Colesey (Mike Coles), Shards (Neil Shardlow) and all of the lads and we said ‘wouldn’t it be nice if I got a century on my birthday?’,” said Levitt, who plays his club cricket for Bromsgrove.

“I thought I’d missed my chance because I got off to a good start in the first innings but didn’t go on to reach a hundred.

“As a batting line-up, we played really well and the bowlers chipped in too – Jake Roberts bowled out of his skin and Ed Young was really good too.

“I think we’re benefitting from a bit of maturity, which is why we’re going on to win games that we wouldn’t have last year.

“Players like Ed Young and Adam Miles have first-class experience and help everyone stay focussed and we’re really enjoying it at the moment.”

Mike Coles (58), Neil Clark (57) and Levitt (53) all contributed after Wiltshire were put in to bat first during the first innings, with the hosts posting 332 as they were skittled after 75 overs.

Jake Roberts then piled the pressure on Dorset with four wickets,with the visitors’ Masoor Khan top-scoring (48) for his side as they were all out for 260 in the 70th over.

Levitt then rammed home Wiltshire’s dominance with his knock of 104 from 78 balls, ably supported by Henry Langford (69), Ed Young (67) and Ashur Morrison, who hit 61 off 31 deliveries.

Coles’ men declared on 373-6 before Roberts turned the screw by claiming four more Dorset wickets.

Chris Park’s unbeaten 87 and Jake Linott’s 65 offered up some late resistance but Wiltshire refused to be denied as they eventually skittled Dorset for 348 midway through the 72nd over of the final innings.



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