Mann hits ton for Rocklands

ROCKLANDS continued their strong start to the season with another impressive performance away at Stow. However, they were denied maximum points thanks to a defiant last-wicket stand by the home team.

ROCKLANDS continued their strong start to the season with another impressive performance away at Stow.

However, they were denied maximum points thanks to a defiant last-wicket stand by the home team.

Rocklands won the toss and on a blisteringly hot afternoon decided to bat first. Jack Noonan fell cheaply and it quickly became apparent that the pitch was very dry, with the odd ball popping at the batsmen. Si Mann was showing little trouble adapting to the conditions though and begun picking up some boundaries.

The bowling remained tight though and Rocklands found themselves stuttering at 60 for 3 after 20 overs.


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Much now rested on Mann's shoulders and he continued to dominate the bowling to pass his 50 in the 24th over. He received good support first from Martin Walker and then from Greg Mann (41 not out). The run rate began to pick up and Mann notched up his first Rocklands hundred with another sublime flick to leg. The Stow bowlers and fielders were now flagging and 60 runs came in the last six overs so that Rocklands finished on a formidable 231 for 5 in their 46 overs (Si Mann 141).

The pitch was beginning to get more and more dusty and the Stow reply got off to a slow start with batsmen finding it hard to score. The bowling was tight, the fielding sharp and as the pressure began to build the wickets began to tumble. Laurence Dodson took a well- judged catch at mid-off before the spin twins of Richard Smith (3-38) and Steve Pearce (5-46) ran through Stow's middle order.

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When Les Abel took a reflex catch at leg gully to leave Stow on 90 for 7 it appeared an outright victory was within sight. However, Stow's lower order played well and held up the Rocklands charge for victory.

In the end their last-wicket pair of Ian Skinner (47 not out) and J Butt (11 not out) managed to survive a couple of close calls to hold out for the final four overs, even Matt Mann being unable to remove them, to finish on 159 for 9.

Nonetheless Rocklands came away with a winning draw and a good haul of 18 points.

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