Beccles open up a gap at top of table after comfortable victory on their travels

Beccles extended their lead at the top of the table. Picture: Archant

Beccles extended their lead at the top of the table. Picture: Archant - Credit: copyright ARCHANT 2017

Beccles extended their lead in the Norfolk Alliance Division Two to 12 points with a comprehensive 80-run win at Bradenham.

The hosts won the toss and captain Alex Bates decided to bowl on a lively looking wicket. The wicket turned out to be just that and openers George Milton (16) and Robert Porter (46) did a superb job of surviving the new ball. Good bowling paid dividends as Beccles lost both Milton and then Wilgoss (2) to Bradenham captain Bates.

Unfortunately for the hosts this meant the arrival of Alex Wright to the crease. The all-rounder is in phenomenal form and batted with skill and power. With batting partners falling at regular intervals to good bowling, Wright was undeterred and went about his business in sublime fashion. Towards the end of the allotted overs fellow all-rounder Matt Lowe became the fourth highest scorer with a cameo 13 runs, helping Alex on his way to 71 runs and another Hickmans Supplies man of the match performance with Beccles setting a target of 188-8.

The highlight of many of Beccles’ wins this season have been good bowling and this was no different. Captain David George opened with Nick Smith and Stuart Watkins and they bowled brilliantly in tandem. Superb accurate pressure bowling from Smith (6-9-0) allowed Watkins (9-44-3) to dismiss the top three batsmen and set the tone for another Beccles win.

Spinner Ian Ruddock, returning after a week away, helped himself to three wickets (7.2-20-4) with some skilful deliveries. The hosts lost wickets at regular intervals and with Marcus Hayes taking two wickets, captain George was left with the luxury of bringing on dangerman Alex Wright to wrap up the game with two wickets, as the hosts finished on 108 all out.

The first team welcome Ashmanaugh & Barton Wanderers tomorrow (1pm).

Beccles A played out a remarkable tie with Hardingham at Beef Meadow. Ian Norman’s Beccles bowled well, removing all 10 wickets for 186 runs, standout bowlers being young Callum Read (8-41-3) and chairman Chris Robson (8-13-4). Superb batting from Robson (44), Ben Milburn (63) and captain Ian Norman (30) got the home side in a brilliant position but they could only equal the Hardingham score and share the points. The A team are at Stow tomorrow.