Bradenham let chance slip away

Bradenham lost to Saxlingham by 23 runs in the Norfolk Alliance Division One

They threw away a golden chance to move clear of the relegation places when a late batting collapse saw them lose to the bottom team. With a tough run in to the end of the season it will now be crucial to pick up vital points to secure Division One status.

Chasing a victory target of 216, several batsmen got out when well placed – Lewis Denmark (14) needlessly ran himself out; Rob Thurley was showing his best league form of the season and had cruised to 43 before hitting a false shot to cover and Steve Matthews, batting in the un-accustomed No 6 slot, had scored an excellent 34 before finally holing out.

Brett Stolworthy was again holding the innings together and had reached his sixth half-century of the season before being stumped off a wide for 53 – in the process he passed 500 runs for the season, a commendable effort.

At 191 for six with six overs remaining, victory was within grasp. However, the last four4 wickets fell for the addition of just two more runs, leaving potential match winner Mark Hunter not out on 17.

Earlier, Saxlingham batted first on a green-looking wicket which nevertheless did very little and they got off to a steady start. On a slow outfield they were restricted to 150 for five with only 10 overs remaining.

However, a succession of dropped catches allowed the visitors to scramble 65 runs from the last 10 overs to reach a tough looking 215 for six.

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Brett Stolworthy 2-33 was the most successful bowler followed by Chad Balluza with 2-50. There were also wickets for Alex Bates and Patrick Dewing, with Bates suffering most from the fielding blemishes.

Bradenham Cricket Club main sponsors are Trek Highway Services with match ball sponsors WC Littleproud & Sons.

Bradenham A (0 points) lost to Bungay (20) in the Alliance Division Four.

On paper, Bradenham A were fielding one of their stronger sides this season at Bungay. Nevertheless, they contrived to turn in a dismal performance with the bat which leaves them rooted at the bottom of their division.

The unpredictable wicket did little to help Bradenham's cause but was no excuse for how the batsmen applied themselves.

Opening bowler Fuller accounted for both Bradenham openers, Dabin and Gibb, in his first two overs, and by the time the score had reached 19, skipper Moody and Bidewell both found themselves back in the pavilion.

Moody was particularly unlucky, having played a text book forward defensive shot only to see the ball trickle back off a pad and disturb one bail. Bidewell was out to an excellent diving catch at cover.

Evans, who had come in at No 4, was doing his best at the other end with a couple of boundaries but the remainder of the Bradenham lower order failed to turn up and went in quick succession.

The innings closed on a very disappointing total of 45 with Evans the only batsman offering any resistance and finishing on a creditable 21 not out.

Adcock made an early breakthrougn with the ball, bowling Mattocks with the score on 12, but the miracle was not to happen and this proved to be Bradenham's only success with Bungay reaching the required total in 10 overs.

This was another poor performance from Bradenham's A team and Ian Moody will have a lot to do now to pick them up to escape from their precarious position at the bottom of the table.