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Iqbal's fine play not enough for win

PUBLISHED: 16:40 18 June 2008 | UPDATED: 21:07 07 July 2010

AFTER losing to Leverington, Thetford A's next game is a tough one at home to table-topping Sandringham.

A classy maiden half-century for 14-year-old Usmaan Iqbal was ultimately in vain for Thetford A as five dropped catches saw them slip to a narrow defeat at home to Leverington.

AFTER losing to Leverington, Thetford A's next game is a tough one at home to table-topping Sandringham.

A classy maiden half-century for 14-year-old Usmaan Iqbal was ultimately in vain for Thetford A as five dropped catches saw them slip to a narrow defeat at home to Leverington.

Thetford lost Scott Richardson early, unlucky to play on to a ball that reared up from a good length. Keith Greyson (16) put away several bad balls before a loose shot saw him caught. Iqbal joined Gavin Siriwardena and they steadied the ship, although Siriwardena lived dangerously.

At the halfway mark in the innings, Thetford had reached a good platform of 85-2, but Siriwardena failed to adjust to the slow spin of A Fairbrother and was bowled for 42.

Simon Lewis (13), Matt Lord (18) and Andy Kerling (10no) each joined Iqbal in pushing the Thetford total on, all playing some good shots and running well between the wickets.

Thetford finished with a competitive 174-5 from their 45 overs, with Iqbal unbeaten on 61.

His chanceless innings was patient accumulation and good judgement.

Leverington started their reply rapidly, regularly finding the boundary after rain had deadened the wicket and

a wet outfield made bowling difficult.

Despite this, the attack plugged away, passing the outside edge time and again, and wickets for Matt Kerling (1-26), Jason Peters (1-53) and Danny Phelps (2-35), helped by two good catches by Iqbal, reduced Leverington to 76-4. Excellent bowling by Phelps and Kerling then piled the pressure onto the batsmen.

The pressure told as J Bilcliff (38) and D Allen (47) each offered chances to the fielders, but all were put down and this pair grew in confidence, scoring increasingly rapidly, and put on 90 in a perfectly paced partnership for the fifth wicket. Lewis Greyson

(2-39) was finally rewarded for 10 accurate and penetrating overs when he returned to dismiss both Allen and Billcliff, but it was already too late.

Good pressure was applied as Leverington's tail then crept over the line in making the last few runs they needed, showing how Thetford could have stopped the visitors if only they could have removed Bilcliff and Allen earlier.

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