Musakanda anchors Budleigh run chase + Abbots showing signs of improvement despite seventh defeat + Two wickets for Joel Murphy

Joel Murphy - only Budleigh bowler to take two wickets against Abbotskerswell

ABBOTSKERSWELL skipper Nick Watkin could see signs of improvement in his side in the six-wicket defeat at Budleigh Salterton.

Six defeats on the trot culminated in being bowled out for 37 by Bradninch in their last outing, which followed being 100 all out against Bideford the week before.

Although Abbots’ total of 222 for four was not enough to beat Budleigh, it was a competitive total and hints at better things to come against sides in their own half of the table.

Nick Watkin, the Abbotskerswell captain, said it was ‘a much-improved performance’ and added: “We batter a great deal better in partnerships.

“We had a good opening partnership between James Westlake and Charlie Mitchell for one of the first times this season. 

“Mark Gilmour batted exceptionally and we look a much better side when he is in it.:

"Bowling-wise we came up against an exceptional overseas player In Tari Musakanda, who guided his team home in a chanceless knock.”

Westlake (36) and Mitchell (21) put on 59 for starter then Watkin (61no) and Gilmour (60) hoisted 103 for the fourth wicket.

Budleigh bowlers Matt Murphy and Ed Doble were hard to get away. Joel Murphy (2-45) was the only bowler with more than one wicket in the book.

Although Noah Tobias (0-31), Elliott Adams (1-37) and Charlie Dowling (1-45) bowled tidily Abbots lacked the overall control with the ball enjoyed by Budleigh.

Donovan Robinson (27) and Doble (35) got Budleigh to 125 for three, then Musakanda (62no) took over, aided and abetted by Tom Oxland (28) and Luke Jefferson (32no) to knock off the rest.

Barton, who are nine points clear of the drop spots, are the visitors to Two Mile Oak this Saturday.