THE race for the title is back on after Rachels Talybont saw Aberystwyth off by 119 runs on Saturday and league leaders Tywyn beaten against third-placed Aberaeron the following day.

Talybont (302-7) beat Aberystwyth (183) by 119 runs, Fine & Country West Wales Conference

Under cloudy skies and in a breeze, Rachels Talybont skipper Vinod Mathew won the toss. Despite the pitch having a greener tinge than recent ones, he bravely backed his powerful batting unit to put the runs on the board.

The decision looked to have backfired when Aber’s bowlers quickly despatched three batsmen to the pavilion, with the innings in ruins at 10 for 3.

Anup Menon was bowled by Noa Jones for 1, whilst fellow opener Joel Abraham and Mathew both fell to smart keeping by Steffan Davies off the bowling of Michelle Watson.

Ayush Sharma has threatened a big score all summer, and in company with Bava Vasu, set about repairing the damage. Contrasting styles were on show, Sharma with his timing and quick hands, Vasu matching him with his power. Despite Vasu offering catches, both reached 50s almost simultaneously, but Omair Syed made the breakthrough that Aber badly needed when he bowled Vasu for 51 when the pair had put on 119. Bizarrely, all Vasu’s four boundaries were sixes.

Bava Vasu closely watched by keeper Steffan Davies and Jim Vaughan, Rachels Talybont v Abreystwyth 010723
Bava Vasu closely watched by keeper Steffan Davies and Jim Vaughan (Submitted)

Phil Abraham has regained his batting touch, and he joined Sharma in another big stand that upped the scoring rate. Sharma duly accelerated and reached a classy first century for the club.

With the score on 217, Jack Allen induced a false shot from Abraham, pocketing a return catch to end a rapid innings of 37.

Zed Khan hit a six in a brief innings but was bowled by Allen. Sharma than fell for 112, being castled by Wilcoxon.

Huw Davies and Farhan Jahangir completed the onslaught by clearing the ropes four times between them in an unbeaten stand that saw 300 passed yet again, Davies finishing on 19 and Jahangir on 47.

For Aber, Watson led the attack with 2-58, Allen with similar figures of 2-59, and Jones, Syed and Wilcoxon took a wicket each.

Aber needed a flying start, and Steffan Davies and Jim Vaughan had made reasonable ground in taking the score to 31 in the fifth over when Joel Abraham bowled Vaughan for 9.

Joel Abraham and Zed Khan bowling to Steffan Davies showcased the league’s flamboyant young talents, and Davies hit two sixes before Jahangir snuffed out his promising innings with a smart catch at extra cover off Khan. Davies had made 35.

With Pat Daniel and Noa Jones both following rapidly afterwards to Phil Abraham to make it 59-4, a quick end must have been on the cards.

Luckily for the contest, Dave Wilcoxon and Anthony Burrell took the fight back to the bowlers, with Wilcoxon in particular showing how stylish a batsman he is when in touch. The pair had put on 56 valuable runs when Burrell was trapped leg before to Milton John.

Huw Davies removed Peter Evans and Jack Allen with his flattish off-spin, but Wilcoxon found another fighting ally in Omair Syed.

Phil Abraham was brought back to end the stand, a Huw Davies catch sending back Syed for 12 with the score on 172.

With eight wickets down, Wilcoxon had to resort to the unorthodox, and in trying to reverse-sweep Davies, could only look on in horror as Matthew at slip brought off an outstanding catch.

Watson was bowled by Phil Abraham to bring the innings to the close, Pranav Krishna being unbeaten on 3. Phil Abraham completed a good all-round performance with 4 wickets for 30, well supported by Huw Davies whose 3 wickets cost 38. Joel Abraham, Khan and John chipped in with a wicket apiece.

Talybont Rachels have been a run-making juggernaut recently, and continue to hope for a slip-up from leaders Tywyn.