A FIELDING performance worthy of recognition helped Chippenham climb to the top of the Prem Two Glos/Wilts table on Saturday, as they defeated Stroud by five wickets at Hardenhuish Park.

An increasingly dry wicket no doubt aided Steve Silk’s side’s cause as they skittled Stroud out for 110 before knocking back the runs required for victory within 23 overs.

Saturday’s result coupled with their away win at Dumbleton on the league’s opening weekend has granted Chippenham top spot in the region’s second tier.

And Silk has been most impressed by his side’s efforts in the field – which he insists restricted Stroud to a figure below what he considered to be par.

He added: “Apart from a couple of wayward overs at the start, it was one of the best fielding and bowling displays I have seen in a long time at Chippenham.

“We were extremely sharp in the field, and gave them nothing when Stroud were trying to get out of the hole they had put themselves in.

“We built pressure, and the bowlers bowled superb lines on what was a slow deck. It was a very good fielding performance.

“If you look at the scores across Wiltshire, there were a lot of low scores – and that’s off the back of all the rain building up to the weekend.

“I think a lot of the wickets were softer than what players are used to batting on. Therefore, it was one of those games where you had to dig in and grind out a result.

“We didn’t allow the opposition to do that – we picked up wickets with good catches.

“Their score (110) was always going to be below-par, but the wicket wasn’t easy to bat on – it turned a lot and that made things difficult.”

Graeme Van Buuren starred with the ball for Chippenham, returning with figures of 27-5 from his 10 overs – and he capitalised in the game’s second half when scoring a 24 to set the hosts on their way to victory.

Addesha Nanayakkara weighed in with a handy 34 to add to Stroud’s woes.

“It always helps knowing you have 50 overs to chase down a low total, especially with some of the explosive batsmen we have got,” said Silk.

“Adeesha (Nanayakkara) and Graeme (Van Buuren) put us in a good position early on. They play positively, and any deliveries that were off line were punished.

“There were a couple of wasteful wickets in the middle, but overall a pleasing result.”

Elsewhere in Prem Two Glos/Wilts, Goatacre lifted themselves into third after recording a tense 10-run victory over Biddestone.

Trowbridge and Corsham were not in the winning mood though. They slipped to losses against Thornbury and Dumbleton respectively.