Return to form for Mleczek
THETFORD A ended a four-match losing streak with a dominant performance away to Terrington in West Norfolk League Division Two on Saturday. Short straight boundaries saw no fewer than six balls lost in the river that runs around two sides of Terrington's ground after explosive hitting by both sides, but Thetford were the better side throughout.
THETFORD A ended a four-match losing streak with a dominant performance away to Terrington in West Norfolk League Division Two on Saturday.
Short straight boundaries saw no fewer than six balls lost in the river that runs around two sides of Terrington's ground after explosive hitting by both sides, but Thetford were the better side throughout.
On being put in on a good wicket that also gave some assistance to the bowlers, Thetford openers Keith Greyson (36) and Scott Richardson (27) posted their first half-century partnership of the season. Both were fortunate to survive edges to the wicketkeeper or slip, but batted patiently and punished bad balls well - especially Greyson, who scored all his runs in boundaries.
When they both fell to misjudged shots, Thetford's aggressive middle-order had a good platform from which to build.
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The rest of the innings was built around a resounding return to form for Paul Mleczek, who produced a perfectly paced innings of 68, assisted by Simon Lewis (15) and Ashley Rex (24).
When he was caught on the boundary, Thetford were in a commanding position at 189-5 and Andy Kerling (20 not out) continued an impressive run of form by marshalling the tail to take Thetford to 227-8, their highest total of the season.
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The Terrington attack had been reasonably accurate, but had always offered enough scoring opportunities for Thetford and only N Osborne's outswing and G Moore's changes of pace offered real challenges to the batsmen.
Faced with making the highest total on the ground this season with a weakened side, Terrington started steadily against probing opening spells from Sam Turner and Lewis Greyson. A couple of edges flew over the slips before accumulating pressure made G Moore drive loosely at Turner to be caught in the covers, and when Ashley Rex leapt like a trout to snare N Osborne at second slip off Greyson (1-13), Terrington were in trouble.
Home skipper James Gollands, supported by A Moore, quickly settled however, and began to play very aggressively, depositing three consecutive deliveries from the unfortunate Jason Peters into the river.
Moore was bowled by Mleczek, but Gollands remained with an unbeaten half-century at the halfway stage in Terrington's innings and clearly had the potential to play a match-winning innings.
Stand-in Thetford captain Gavin Siriwardena rotated his bowlers, however, and Sam Turner returned to bowl Gollands (for a rapid 93) and A Williams with successive deliveries, turning the game decisively in Thetford's favour. Siriwardena (2-19), Peters (1-35), Shaun Bowden (1-27) and Turner then polished off Terrington, who were bowled out for 158, giving Thetford a convincing 69-run victory.
Turner was the pick of the bowlers once again, with an excellent return of 4-18 from 12 overs, but all of the attack deserve praise for maintaining a disciplined line and length through Gollands' onslaught.
This result leaves Thetford A in mid-table at the halfway point in the season, having finally turned the promise in recent performances into a concrete result. Similar levels of performance through the rest of the summer should see them secure in Division 2 in their first season at this level.
Their next fixture is a local derby away at bottom of the table Mundford A.