Thetford Cricket Club round-up

THETFORD first XI slumped to an eight-wicket defeat, to bottom club and fiercest rivals Mundford. Alex Bailey, the visiting skipper, won the toss and put the home side into bat; a move which definitely seem to pay off over time.

THETFORD first XI slumped to an eight-wicket defeat, to bottom club and fiercest rivals Mundford.

Alex Bailey, the visiting skipper, won the toss and put the home side into bat; a move which definitely seem to pay off over time.

The Thetford innings began at a steady pace, as the Mundford opening pair of Smeed (0-28) and Bailey (2-7) gave nothing away.

The vice grip on runs only stopped when Mark Leeder (3-56) and Matt Allsopp (2-32) were brought into the attack, Peter Terry (53) and Liam Conroy (24) had to make the most of what runs they could get.

However, after their removal, both to poor shots - which consequently seemed to be the theme of the day - the domino effect of the Thetford batting order began.

The following eight wickets fell for a measly 49 runs, Mick Piggott (19) and Danny Phelps (12) the only other two to reach double figures. This could only be described as a shambolic affair which left the hosts to defend 146 runs and 58 overs to defend them in. Tom Brassett also contributed to the damage, taking 3-20 at the tail.

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The Thetford defence started well considering the circumstances, Mundford opening the batting with the same pair that opened the bowling. David Anderson (1-27), sent the stumps of Bailey cart wheeling for four.

Thetford old boy Smeed stuck around for a while, but nicked one behind to Ryan Conroy for 25, off the bowling of Danny Phelps.

This only made matters worse, as Robin Yates (52) and Daniel White (44), patiently but effectively knocked the runs off, with plenty of overs to spare.

Thetford will be ruing the missed chance of a game they fancied winning, Mundford will be jubilant - picking up their first win of the season and it was some way to do it.

Thetford A and their Mundford counterparts fought out a tight contest - also an Alliance Division Six relegation dogfight.

For the second year in succession, the game finished in a narrow, high-scoring winning draw for Mundford, a result that did little for either team's progress this season.

Putting their hosts in, Thetford endured a luckless innings with the ball as Mundford batsmen played and missed, or edges found the boundary instead of going to hand. It was ironic that Matt Kerling's probing spell was finally rewarded when a short ball was top-edged by Mick Annear to be caught well in a swirling wind by Andy Kerling at square leg.

Cameron McIsaac was next to go, missing a full toss from Gavin Siriwardena (2-33), while Richard Mail's luck finally ran out when a better ball from the same bowler took the top off his off stump.

The next ball, a calamitous mix-up with his captain saw N Rose run out and Mundford were on the rack at 66-4. However, Kieron Long looked in ominous form and A Crump survived countless false strokes. Long played beautifully and showed no mercy to the bad ball, Siriwardena and Daniel Greyson taking a particular battering, as this pair batted Mundford into a strong position at 179-4.

However, the need to score quickly on a good batting track and pressure from tight bowling from Pat Sparkes and Jason Peters finally told when Matt Kerling bowled both Long (86) and Crump (51). Mundford still tried to attack in the final overs, but Peters (1-47) had Scott Palmer well caught by Simon Lewis.

Kerling got just reward for an excellent display of swing bowling by taking two wickets in the final over to finish with a season's best 5-46.

Mundford's total of 215 was a good one and more than Thetford should have let them get, but it seemed within reach on a good wicket.

Everything changed, however, when Jack Lingard edged his first legitimate ball to slip and Thetford's batsmen were becalmed by a tight opening spell from Robin Mail and Scott Palmer, then Pat Sparkes edged to short third man. But Andy Kerling and Simon Lewis turned the game around with a beautifully paced partnership. Both started cautiously, but soon made the most of any bad balls.

The score began to mount rapidly as both batsmen passed 50 and Thetford looked the likely victors at 133-2 after 26 overs. However, Lewis' impressive knock of 60 came to an end when Palmer (4-43) returned and he missed a straight ball. The wheels then came off Thetford's challenge as Mark Fowler was adjudged caught behind and Nicky Shepherd was perhaps unlucky to be given out lbw.

Suddenly, Mundford's tails were up, Thetford were five down and Kerling and Gavin Siriwardena were faced with a mounting required run rate while facing Mundford's better bowlers. After Siriwardena missed a straight one trying to hit J Yates (2-44) over the top, Kerling's superb knock of 80 when he became a second unfortunate lbw victim for Thetford. Jason Peters led a late charge for victory, but with overs running out, Thetford's best hope was for a 90 percent losing draw and a fifth batting point for reaching 200.

This they duly achieved thanks to a sterling last-wicket partnership from Matt Kerling and Daniel Greyson, after both Stuart Terry (unluckily slipping) and Peters (to a direct hit from deep by Richard Mail) were both run out.

Mundford A: M Annear c A Kerling b M Kerling 13, Ri Mail b Siriwardena 27, C McIsaac b Siriwardena 16, K Long b M Kerling 86, M Rose run out 0, A Crump b M Kerling 51, S Palmer c Lewis b Peters 12, P Norman b M Kerling 5, Ro Mail not out 6, H Blakemore b M Kerling 0; extras 17. Total (46 overs) 215-9. Bowling: J Peters 12-0-47-1, M Kerling 12-1-46-5, G Siriwardena 6-1-33-2, P Sparkes 12-1-42-0, D Greyson 4-0-41-0.

Thetford A: A Kerling lbw Yates 80, J Lingard c Annear b Palmer 0, P Sparkes c Blakemore b Palmer 6, S Lewis c McIsaac b Palmer 70, M Fowler lbw Palmer 0, N Shepherd b Annear 3, G Siriwardena b Yates 15, S Terry run out 14, J Peters run out 1, M Kerling not out 5, D Greyson not out 1; extras 9. Total (46 overs) 203-9. Bowling: Ro Mail 12-4-30-0, S Palmer 12-2-43-4, H Crump 5-0-32-0, J Yates 7-0-44-2, M Annear 10-1-54-1.

Thetford A battled to a losing draw against high-flying opposition when they hosted Lowestoft A the previous weekend, with Keith Greyson taking seven wickets.

This was a gutsy performance from Thetford and gained them a creditable 10 points to aid their fight against relegation.

Put in to bat, Lowestoft raced to 50 in just eight overs, Matt Kerling taking a particular battering. A lucky wicket for Siriwardena and tight bowling from Sam Turner were then not enough to slow Lowestoft down as C Scott propelled the score to 180 after 30 overs. He was supported well by K Storey.

With Daniel Greyson giving the batsmen pause for thought but, like the other bowlers, leaking a few too many runs, it took veteran Keith Greyson to make the breakthrough, Scott holing out at deep mid-wicket for an excellent 117.

Greyson then enjoyed a remarkable spell as Lowestoft wickets tumbled, one after another, going after him in the search for quick runs.

The wickets included a great catch by Matt Kerling at long-on and Storey's demise, bowled for 81. Greyson finished with 7-72 when he bowled M Shea.

This left Thetford with a tough task to make 283 to win on a wicket that was now misbehaving. Siriwardena duly edged a ball that popped in the second over, Nicky Shepherd following two balls later in similar fashion. Thetford looked well out of it, but Keith Greyson and Jack Lingard weathered the storm and started to score freely as Lowestoft started to lose focus in the heat.

This pair put on 65 for the third wicket before Greyson's demise brought the in-form Simon Lewis to the crease for a display of typically cultured strokeplay. Then, however, first Lingard, four short of what would have been a classy fifty, and then Lewis (43) fell in consecutive balls to put Thetford at risk of a heavy defeat again at 142-5. All hope of victory then disappeared as Shaun Bowden and Sam Turner were both snared by M Bishop's (2-32) off-spin. Even survival looked unlikely, but Stuart Terry (18) and Mark Hudson (20no) showed excellent application to deny an increasingly frustrated Lowestoft attack.

The visitors tried a total of eight bowlers and ultra-attacking fields, but Hudson and Terry resisted for 15 difficult overs, taking advantage of the wide open spaces in the field to push the score up over 200. Terry fended to point in the final over to give the accurate K Jones (2-19) a second wicket, but it was too late for Lowestoft to force a victory.

Thetford Sunday were looking to continue their successful season when Reepham and Salle arrived. Thetford, who won the toss, started off very sharply and in the second over the tight lines from L Greyson (2-23) paid off as he took the scalps of two batsmen.

Reepham were scoring at five an over but were losing wickets consistently.

When N Coleman came into the attack, straight away it was apparent that he was going to cause problems and he ripped through the Reepham batting and picking up his second five-wicket haul of the season (5-33).

M Allison also picked up a wicket when he caught Wright straight in front.

This fine display of bowling was aided by brilliant fielding from the team with them taking all catches. N Shepherd was the star in the field, taking four good catches and a brilliant run out. Reepham finished 96 all out.

Thetford knew that they would have to be watchful early on as the pitch was very tricky. Thetford found themselves 33-4 and in all sorts of problems. M Fowler fell for a duck, M Hudson six, R Conroy 14, N Shepherd two and J Fisher nine. But L Conroy (50no) and A Kerling (6 no) pulled the team home well.