Cook unlucky to be on losing side

Hales & Loddon's Jack Coo scored a maiden century - but ended up on the losing side. Picture: Milton

Hales & Loddon's Jack Coo scored a maiden century - but ended up on the losing side. Picture: Milton Lindsay. - Credit: Archant

Jack Cook powered his way to a free-flowing maiden century but still ended up on the losing side as Hales and Loddon lost a nailbiting Norfolk Alliance Division Six encounter at Bradfield on the final ball.

Cook carried his bat for a superb unbeaten 134, crashing 20 fours and scoring at better than a run-a-ball rate as bowlers were made to suffer.

After being put into bat by the hosts H&L lost Matt Buckingham early before Cook and skipper Isaac Rolph began their assault on the bowling, Rolph departing for a typically uncompromising 25. The pace increased as Mark Stewart joined Cook at the crease and the duo brought up the 100 in the 18th over. They enjoyed a third-wicket stand of 120 which took the score to 172 before Stewart was bowled by Stephen Abbs for a fine 61 containing seven fours and a six.

After Auldwynne Lindsay was adjudged lbw first ball, the H&L fireworks were resumed as Martin Wells joined Cook to hit a blistering 57 not out, including seven fours and a six. Their entertaining 130-run unbroken fifth wicket stand took the total to a sizeable 302-4.

In reply the Bradfield’s openers scored freely before Peter Abbs, on 30, survived loud H&L appeals for a catch behind.

Matt Buckingham made the breakthrough on 111, having Stephen Abbs caught by Stewart for 38. The fired-up Isaac Rolph managed to trap Simon Wells lbw for 49, with the total on 215. Rolph struck again to bowl Peter Abbs, who had hit 101 containing 12 fours, with the total on 236-3.

Amidst mounting tension the hosts were steered home by James Vann and Colin Smith. Matt Buckingham bowled superbly at the death, but saw his penultimate ball miss-hit for four, before a scrambled single saw Bradfield home. A 303-3 total was boosted by 52 extras.