Bradenham record breakers

Bradenham centurians Lewis Denmark (102no) and Mpho Selowa (161no) produced a club record third-wicket stand of 265 in Saturday's Alliance Division One winning draw with Bradfield.

Bradenham centurians Lewis Denmark (102no) and Mpho Selowa (161no) produced a club record third-wicket stand of 265 in Saturday's Alliance Division One winning draw with Bradfield.

This was also the biggest ever competitive stand in the club's history and the innings total of 349 for two was also the biggest ever competitive team score. They came together in the 18th over with the total 84 and were still together when the innings closed after 50 overs. It was a maiden first-team ton for Denmark.

For Bradfield, Ed Botwright (89) and Nick Grapes (83) helped them avoid defeat on 284 for six.

Bradenham skipper Blakey elected to bat on a wicket that resembled a 'road' at Bradfield with the outfield lightning quick.

Thurley and Matthews put on 40 for the first wicket before Matthews was caught at slip for 14. Selowa and Thurley began to take the Bradfield attack apart. When looking well set however, Thurley lobbed a simple chance to extra cover on 39.

Denmark joined Selowa and the stage was set for the young Bradenham batsman to show his full range of shots. He and Selowa struck the ball magnificently, taking full advantage of a relatively short boundary on one side.

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The various changes in bowling by the Bradfield captain did nothing to stem the tide. Selowa passed the 100 mark with some 10 overs left in the innings and, at that stage, Denmark was in the mid sixties. This was when both players really cut loose. Selowa passed the 150 with a few overs remaining and Denmark secured his hundred in the final over.

In Bradfield's reply, Stolworthy had opener Amies caught at slip by Denmark in the first over, but Grapes joined Botwright and soon began to show what a batsman's paradise the pitch was. The tables were turned as they stroked the ball superbly and it was the Bradenham fielders turn to chase the ball around the ground.

Mark Hunter made the breakthrough by bowling Grapes for a good 83. Hunter bowled opener Botwright for an excellent 89. Bradfield were up with the required run rate at this point and Blakey decided to take the pace off the ball by introducing medium pacer Thurley and spinner Denmark into the attack.

This slowed the rate somewhat and Denmark had Register caught by Balluza at long on going for a big hit. The two dangermen for Bradfield, Bidewell and Yarham were at the wicket. Stolworthy came back and accounted for Bidewell and Denmark capped a great personal performance by bowling Yarham for eight. This effectively brought Bradfield's run chase to an end and they decided to preserve wickets.

With well over 600 runs scored on the day in glorious sunshine, this was a great game for the neutral spectator. For Bradenham this was an excellent result and maintains their climb up the division.

Bradenham (17pts) secured a winning draw at Bradfield (7).

Bradenham: R Thurley c Abbs b Robertson 39, S Matthews c Botwright b Whitehouse 14, M Selowa not out 161, L Denmark not out 102; extras 33. Total (2 wkts) 349.

Bowling: A Robinson 11-0-97-0, T Whitehouse 11-1-67-1, C Scammell 1-0-8-0, D Yarham 11-1-49-0, A Robertson 6-0-39-1, N Grapes 6-0-36-0, P Abbs 4-0-45-0.

Bradfield: E Botwright b Hunter 89, T Amies c Denmark b Stolworthy 0, N Grapes b Hunter 83, D Register c Balluza b Denmark 3, S Bidewell c Matthews b Stolworthy 20, D Yarham b Denmark 8, A Robinson not out 26, P Abbs not out 20; extras 34. Total (6 wkts) 283.

Bowling: B Stolworthy 10-1-62-2, B Gates 7-0-43-0, R Thurley 6-0-33-0, A Bates 4-0-33-0, L Denmark 12-0-53-2, M Hunter 9-0-47-2, C Balluza 2-0-7-0.