Beetley’s nine men give early pacesetters a good game


- Credit: Ian Burt

Beetley's tough start to life in the Norfolk Cricket League Division Two West continued with a sterling effort, albeit in vain, against league leaders Narborough.

With only nine men to call upon Beetley chose to field first and what followed was an inspired first half an hour.

Captain Michael Calvert (9-1-57-3) with two wickets, one a fine caught behind by keeper Mark Mitchell, and Matt Smith (10-1-31-1), bowling J Crisp behind his legs, reduced the home team to 16-3 inside seven overs.

Jonathan Coe and Sam Jones led a fightback, taking the score to 78 before Mark Hinchliffe (10-0-32-1) had Coe lbw for 39 and when brother Gary (10-1-33-1) took a steepling caught and bowled to dismiss Jones on the same score Beetley's hopes of a causing an upset were very much alive.

With the Hinchliffe brothers bowling well in tandem and Narborough looking to rebuild a pivotal moment came with less than 100 on board, Danny King was dropped off Gary Hinchliffe and this proved costly as Stephen and Danny King continued their partnership, slowly building momentum.

At 40 overs the score stood at 144, which would have been a realistic total for Beetley to chase, but the Kings added 52 in the final five overs before Danny was bowled by Calvert off the final ball for a well constructed 69, with Stephen unbeaten on 38.

Beetley's bowlers stuck to their task, well supported by the fielders given the lack of numbers.

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Beetley's reply stated badly with Narborough's famed pace attack reducing the visitors to 34-5 in side 11 overs.

Danny King, having a fine all round day, bowled through for figures of 3-25, supported by Oliver Reynolds with 2-30 off seven overs. Keeper Mitchell joined Matt Smith and the pair restored order with a stand of 71 in 20 overs before Mark was well caught by Danny King in the deep for 25.

Des Curry joined Matt and with previously unseen shots from Des they took the score to 142 before he was bowled by Danny Yeates Cornwall for 20. Beetley's innings folded next ball for a creditable 142 all out, with Smith unbeaten with a fine 57 including five fours. Beetley lost by 52 runs but again showed promise despite the third defeat of the season.

On Saturday Beetley travel to Reepham and Salle (1.30pm start).