Classy centuries spoil Bradenham's season opener

Bradenham Cricket Club in action at The Green

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

A big total from Ashmanaugh & Barton Wanderers saw Bradenham fall to defeat in their season opener. 

Chasing a daunting 315, the Bears were all out for 181 in their first fixture in the Norfolk Alliance Division One. 

Ashmanaugh & Barton chose to bat first at The Green on what was a lovely sunny Saturday. 

The home team's opening bowler, Martin Fox, was soon in the action to dismiss Beadon during the first over.

He also quickly accounted for Elam, who was caught by Jeff Turner for just six runs. 

Batters J W Everett and C Wright dug in for ABW to move the score to 41, before the latter fell lbw to Will Dewing.

J L Everett joined his brother at the crease and both played freely to keep the score ticking over, but J W Everett was bowled by Alex Bates for 36.

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Drinks at the halfway point of their innings seemed to rejuvenate ABW, as Everett and Verma set about dispatching the Bears' attack and reached excellent centuries. 

Verma went for exactly 100 off Tom Donnelly’s bowling, while Bates had Everett caught for 122. 

The remaining ABW batsmen offered little but, by then, the damage had already been done.

In reply, Brendan Scott and Matt Blowers opened the Bears’ innings but the latter was soon back in the hutch after scoring just a single run.

Marcus Evans helped Scott to steady the ship somewhat, but was then trapped lbw for 14. 

Bears' skipper Rob Ellis played some handsome shots and he, together with Scott, kept Bradenham in touch with the required run rate.

Both fell to brilliant catches, however - Ellis (52) to a superb diving effort at cover by Mulhall, followed quickly by a great caught and bowled by Elam to dismiss Scott (45).  

Dewing added 15 and Donnelly finished 19 not out, but any hopes of an unlikely Bradenham rapidly evaporated. 

"This was a hard fixture to open with," said Ellis.

"Clearly, ABW are a very good side who batted, bowled and fielded really well today. I’d be surprised if they were not challenging at the top of the division by the end of August.

"For us, it was a hard day at the office and we’ll be looking to improve in all areas for our next game."