By Steve Hill
ISLAMNABI Ahmadzai finished with five wickets, including a hat-trick, and there was also a five-wicket haul for Northamptonshire’s Alex Russell as Stroud romped to an important 153-run win away to Burbage & Easton Royal in WEPL’s Premier Two Glos/Wilts division.
Seamer Ahmadzai devastated Burbage’s top order, capturing four wickets in five balls en route to a haul of 5-24.
And 20-year-old leg spinner Russell, who was released last year by Gloucestershire, finished with fine figures of 5-14 from 8.3 overs as the village side were bowled out for only 103.
Burbage, in fact, will be glad that they don’t have to face Russell again this summer as he grabbed 5-6 when these sides met back in May.
Stroud remain second bottom with six more rounds of games to go but crucially closed the gap on the teams above them after opener Ewan Gegg (61) and brother and captain Louis (50) had earlier top scored in their side’s total of 256-8 after winning the toss.
Frocester slipped off the top following a 48-run reverse at Corsham, Devlin Webb thumping 105 off 89 (12 fours, six sixes) in a losing cause.
Leaders Painswick suffered a 32-run home reverse against nearest rivals Dumbleton in the Gloucestershire division, Tommy Boorman (65) and Dan Holland (5-24) making important contributions.
Cirencester, in third place, dispatched Apperley by five wickets, Oli Thornley top scoring on 58, while Mark Whitney was unbeaten on 99 for Bourton Vale who overcame Charlton Kings by 71 runs.
Scott Montgomery (85) and Thom Wilshaw (5-42) shone for Gloucester who were 122-run victors at Tewkesbury, and Frocester 2nds defeated Rockhampton by 68 runs.