Debutant Sahni quick to shine for South Hetton

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SOUTH Hetton picked up their first win of the Warmseal Durham Senior League season, with overseas signing Vishal Sahni impressing in a successful run chase.

Hosts Philadelphia struggled up to 130 in 45 overs, Tom Raine making 36 against a tight attack in which John Leslie (4-41) and John Pendlington (3-14) shone.

An early success with the ball then raised Phili hopes, but it only brought Sahni to the wicket and he calmly marshalled South Hetton to a six-wicket success, ending with an unbeaten 54 from 85 balls and including seven boundaries.

Castle Eden made it three wins in three outings to move to within nine points of leaders Felling, who were made to scramble for a draw at Burnmoor.

Castle Eden unveiled Indian debutant Saru Purkasatha, who only flew into the country on Thursday.

Frustrated by continued delays in bringing in original overseas target Ryan D’Souza, the club had moved swiftly to source a replacement and initial impressions are good.

He featured in the five-wicket defeat of Horden, picking up a wicket and then hitting an unbeaten 26 to steer his new team-mates to victory, but the more familiar faces of Alan Unsworth and Richard Ede set up their side with a brilliant bowling display that turfed their previously unbeaten hosts out for just 101.

Unsworth dominated the home batters in a 15-over spell in which he picked up 5-34 and, with Ede nipping in at the end to take 3-6 in just 10 balls, Castle were on top. With 28 overs to get the runs in bowler-friendly conditions, Castle hauled up Horden’s drawbridge with just three balls to spare, the new pro proving to have a steady nerve.

Norton toppled Whitburn by six wickets after bowling the Villagers out for 98 in 49 overs.

This completed an unusually miserable start to the season for Whitburn, who now find themselves in the unaccustomed position of second bottom.

The three drawn games were led by the match at Burnmoor, where leaders Felling were set a challenge by the hosts, who declared on 144-7 after 40.3 overs.

Mark Robson (42) was Moor’s top batsman, but any ambitions the visitors had of giving it a go were strangled by South African Brandon Scullard, who bowled six maidens in 14 overs and took all six wickets to fall. Felling were then content to close on 93-6 after 35 difficult overs.

Eppleton (81-4) made sure they did not collapse against champions Kimblesworth (175-5), Dean Musther (38no) coming to their aid after the first four batsmen mustered just 26 between them.

Boldon (177-7) were indebted to Michael Walker (76) before Phil Shakespeare bagged 5-33 as Marsden closed out on 132-7, with skipper Chris Mann (51) as obdurate as ever.