Bradenham’s batsmen in fine form

Bradenham put in another strong performance with the bat in their relegation encounter away at Hales & Loddon.

On a good pitch the visitors were unable to bowl out the home team, but nevertheless came away with the larger share of the points in securing a winning draw.

The position at the bottom end of the table is now very tight making this week's match against bottom team Saxlingham even more crucial before Bradenham finish their season against the teams currently occupying the top three positions in the league.

Asked to bat first the innings was anchored by Brett Stolworthy who batted for the best part of 40 overs in finishing 95 not out, once again just falling short of his maiden league century. Those around him batted with purpose as there were useful contributions all the way down the order. Lewis Denmark hit 66 after the earlier departures of Kevin Stagles and Mike Taylor who both made 12. Patrick Dewing contributed a rapid 20 with Steve Matthews (10) Brett Gates (12) and Alex Bates (15 not out) all contributing in the quest for quick runs. Stolworthy hit 10 fours and one six as the innings closed at a season's best 277-7 from their 50 overs.

The required early breakthrough did not come as Hales added 71 for the first wicket which fell to Will Dewing in the 20th over. Bradenham did not help their cause with two dropped catches.

With the total subsiding to 104-5 in the 33rd over a Bradenham victory loomed. Despite economical spells from Rob Thurley (1-24 from his 11 overs) and Will Dewing (six overs for eight runs), Squire and Anderson upped the tempo as Hales sought out additional batting bonus points.

Chad Balluza, aided by three stumpings by Steve Matthews, bowled a great spell in taking 4-27 from eight overs, but Bradenham left their final push too late to effect a victory which in reality had always seemed un-likely. The Hales reply had reached 200-7 when stumps were drawn.