Bradenham defeated despite brave chase against Sprowston

Bradenham Cricket Club in action at The Green

Bradenham Cricket Club in action at The Green - Credit: Tim Evans

Bradenham were unfortunate to lose a thrilling encounter against high-flying Sprowston at The Green. 

Chasing an ominous 289, the Bears produced a commendable effort as they were bowled out just 20 runs shy of their target. 

With 16 balls of their innings still remaining, the home side were ultimately left to rue what might have been. 

The defeat on Saturday left Bradenham eighth in Division One of the Norfolk Cricket Alliance, while Sprowston sit in second place. 

Bears captain Rob Ellis asked the visitors to bat first on what was a hot day, and the decision seemed justified when Sam Westgate struck early to bowl opener Alex Patmore for nine.

But the runs soon began to flow on a lightning-fast outfield after Sam Hales joined Iain Murrell at the crease, with boundaries a regular feature. 

However, Westgate struck again to bowl Murrell for 38, before Ellis accounted for number four Sridhar Tenjarla and number five Matthew Rush for 28 and 35 respectively.

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Youth player Matt Braybrook held on to a good catch to dismiss Jason Moorse for 23 off Jeff Turner’s bowling but, at the other end, Hales was amassing quick runs. 

He was eventually bowled by Turner for an excellent 134. 

The home innings started disappointingly, with Matt Blowers bowled by Michael Eccles for one in the second over.

Josh Watts added 14 and Ellis himself didn’t trouble the scorers, going for a duck. 

Bradenham’s crucial partnership was between opener Brendan Scott and all-rounder Will Dewing, who came together with the score on 47 and added 112 for the fourth wicket, before Scott was caught for a superb 78. 

Unfortunately for the Bears, Dewing was also caught with only five more runs on the board. 

Turner (34), Braybrook (13) and Alex Bates (22) ensured Bradenham remained in the hunt but, after the latter was caught attempting another big hit, only 15 more runs were added. 

A philosophical Rob Ellis commented “I’m proud of the boys today.

"Sprowston are a really good team and set a very challenging total, but we applied ourselves brilliantly and were genuinely in the hunt until the last couple of overs."