Gillingham CC get their season back on track with impressive victory


- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

Gillingham bounced back from some disappointing results with a comfortable win at Cringleford, dismissing their hosts for 91 before securing an eight-wicket victory.

Gillingham skipper Barber called correctly and asked Cringleford to bat first on a dry, hard pitch on the hottest day of the season so far.

Rusted and Smith took the new ball and maintained tight lines during the opening exchanges before Rusted’s (1-22) sideways movement proved too much for opener Proctor.

Two further wickets soon followed, the first a gift as Arthurs attempted an ambitious single to Fowles who ran out of Williams at the other end. Smith (1-12) then found some extra bounce to remove Arthurs in the following over, Liam Smith taking a sharp catch at first slip.

The hosts were wobbling at 10-3 but Forde and Taylor dug in and added 59 in 16 overs before Barber (1-19) made the breakthrough by removing Taylor for 28.

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At 69-4 Cringleford were still in the game but Fowles and Le Versha soon wrestled the initiative firmly back to Gillingham, Le Versha claiming the fifth wicket in the 32nd over to expose the tail.

Fowles was firmly into his stride at this point and, after seven accurate overs for just 12 runs claimed the key wicket of Forde (25) via a second catch of the day for keeper Cant. Le Versha (2-7) and Fowles (4-18) soon demolished the tail as the hosts were all out for 91.

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In reply Davy went early for two while Le Versha advanced to 18 with a series of powerful shots before missing a straight one as Gillingham were reduced to 26-2.

Roberts and Barber then began a brutal assault to power Gillingham to the win. The pair scored at a rapid rate and almost exclusively in boundaries with the Cringleford bowlers having no answer to the power on display. It took just eight overs to score the remaining 66 runs required for victory with an unbroken partnership of which 58 runs were scored in boundaries.

Roberts closed on 37 not out from just 31 deliveries while Barber scored 29 from 23, ending the match with a huge straight six in the 16th over.

Back-to-back home games on the next two Saturdays give Gillingham a chance to improve on their current mid-table position.

Man of the Match: Darren Fowles.

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