A BRUTAL opening spell of bowling made Royal Wootton Bassett’s early score against Purton at the Gerard Buxton Sports Ground resemble the final result of a hotly-contested hockey fixture.

At one stage, Darren Beasant’s Bassett were reduced to 7-5 – before a determined Akash Sharma struck 35 as Saturday’s WEPL Wiltshire hosts limped to 83 all out.

Bemused Purton skipper Tom Whittaker then watched his top three batsmen comfortably chase down their target within 20 overs – earning the visitors 21 league points, while Bassett ended the day empty-handed.

Purton captain Whittaker admitted he was as shocked as any onlooker would have been amid Bassett’s early collapse.

And he says the nine-wicket win has injected even more life into his youthful side who sit sixth in the 10-team division following two rounds.

Whittaker said: “The boys are buzzing, it was a serious result.

“We knew it would be a competitive game – Bassett had a decent win in their first game against Westbury.

“We’ve played against them for three or four years, and their team has pretty much stayed the same throughout that period.

“Winning the toss and bowling first helped us a lot – Conor Cleary and Bill Barker paired up to deliver one of the most disciplined opening spells of bowling I have ever seen at Purton.

“Bassett were 7-5 at one stage and it’s hard to put into words, really. We didn’t expect that result at all.

“Bassett established a small partnership, but we still capitalised to take a couple of late wickets and limit them to a total we knew we could get.”

Winning the toss undoubtedly helped Purton’s cause as Bassett struggled on a pitch that offered little in the early stages due to heavy rain earlier in the week.

The drying surface then played into Purton’s favour, as openers Harrison Painter (39no) and Joel Welsby (20) knocked back the bulk of the visitors’ target before Adam Keane (17no) helped wrap up the 21 points.

“It had been quite wet all week, and then conditions dried out. We knew batting second would be advantageous as the ball wouldn’t move around as much later on in the day,” said Whittaker.

“We dug in well. Harrison (Painter) got through some tough overs at the start and displayed great signs of determination.

“Bassett bowled well at the start. Akash (Sharma) was swinging the ball away – and we had to dig deep.

“Adam (Keane) came in to see us home. It’s an odd one, we were chatting before the game about having to win games like this to stay in the league.

“To win by the margin we did is a real credit to the team.”

Elsewhere in WEPL Wiltshire, Swindon recorded their first win of the season away at Warminster.

Batting first, Marc Williamson’s side set the hosts 196 to win – but confidently skittled Warminster out for 167.

Chris Aubrey (50) and Conor Taylor (53) did most of the damage with the bat, while Adam Tucker’s figures of 4-20 helped Swindon’s cause in the second innings.