Bad weekend for Hales

ALLIANCE Division Two leaders Hales hosted lowly Mundford and turned in a very disappointing and below-par performance.Mundford came out on top, winning by two wickets.

ALLIANCE Division Two leaders Hales hosted lowly Mundford and turned in a very disappointing and below-par performance.

Mundford came out on top, winning by two wickets.

The toss went against Hales and they were put in to bat on a very green-looking wicket.

Marty Cornish (0) went early on after being bowled by an in-swinger with the score yet to move, made worse by the fact he was entertaining his ex-club.

A rebuilding began as C Andersen (10) and P Squire (25) took the score to 34 before the ball popped up on the wicket, causing Andersen to give a gentle catch to a close in fielder.

D Andersen (40) played some delightful cover drives to help progress the score.

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Squire was the next to go, trying to exploit the vast space available on the leg side. He missed the ball and was bowled with the score on 65.

Dave Harmer joined Andersen and scored the innings' top score of 41 and together they took the score onto 92 before Andersen was out. M Ramsdale came and went with three and Harmer soon went after which left the score on 112-6 after 33 overs.

With more than capable batsmen still to come, it was felt that the score could still be pushed onto 200. However, Mundford bowled well on a slow wicket that suited their bowlers and the Hales middle to lower order failed to make much of an impact. Skipper Rowe was the only one who seemed to value his wicket, making his third successive not out, reaching 17. After 45 overs Hales finished on 160.

In reply, the Mundford openers showed they didn't want to waste time and get bogged down by the usually strong and disciplined Hales attack by hitting a four off the first ball of their innings.

It became clear to the Hales bowlers that anything short would be hit for four with ease as all the pace was taken out of the ball when dropped even slightly short.

The first wicket came courtesy of R Andersen as he bowled a ripsnorter, removing the left-handed opener. Another batsman was quickly to follow back to the pavilion, as G Squire bowled a ball full of length to make the score sit precariously at 24-2.

However, the next wicket was hard to come by and was not taken until the score had reached 72. Hales still felt at this stage they were in for a chance as few of the batsmen really looked comfortable.

However, they were patient and waited for the bad ball, which seemed to come too frequently for Hales. There was a small flurry of wickets to make the score 112-6 and Neil Pearce managed to get a couple of wickets from his four overs, but his efforts turned out to be too late as Mundford struggled their way to the 161 figure in the 47th over, with the loss of eight wickets.

MoM: Dave Harmer for top scoring.

Tomorrow Hales will look to put things right, travelling to bottom-of-the- table Dersingham.

Meanwhile, Hales A were left reeling as Norwich Union A skipper Steve Andrews earned a revenge victory with a devastating seven-wicket bowling display.

Hales had notched their first Norfolk League Division Four victory of the season against Union the week before.

But that was swiftly forgotten as Andrews performed a one-man demolition job to return figures of seven for 21 from 10 overs including a hat-trick.

Set a target of 201 to win, Hales were soon on the ropes as a steady procession of batsmen were unable to resist Andrews' teasing, slow-paced deliveries, with six succumbing to catches - five of them for ducks and one clean bowled.

George Montague did his best to offer resistance scoring 15 before falling to a good delivery.

Earlier, Rhys Moore (50no) and Tom Norman (60no) had starred with the bat, sharing an unbroken fifth wicket stand of 123, as Union posted a 200-4 total at Britannia Barracks ground.

Jamie Weston and Matt Parkin were the pick of the Hales bowlers.

Tomorrow, Yarmouth at home.