Hales and Loddon are well beaten by the league leaders
- Credit: Archant
Hales & Loddon paid the price for a batting collapse as they suffered a crushing nine-wicket defeat at the hands of Norfolk Alliance Division Six leaders Horsford B.
After H&L were put into bat, the visitors’ well-drilled bowling unit took full advantage to dismiss the hosts for a paltry 70 in the 25th over.
A steady procession of H&L batsmen offered little resistance, with the only double-figure contributions coming from skipper Mark Stewart (23), Matt Buckingham (11) and a gutsy unbeaten 22 from Martin Wells.
The heart was ripped out of the innings by experienced seamer Adrian Gilbert, who took two for 14 from seven overs, while his youthful opening partner Sam Collinson returned three for 15 from seven overs. Billy Harvey (2 for 21 from 5.3 overs) and Joe Turner (3 for 18 from five overs) completed the demolition job.
The visitors reached their target in 15 overs courtesy of an unbroken second-wicket stand between Ben Collinson (21 not out) and Jack Robertson’s attractive unbeaten 39.
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Stewart claimed the only wicket to fall when he had Chris Browne caught at point for five by Auldwyn Lindsay.
Meanwhile Sri Lankan recruit Isuru took three catches and a stumping and then top scored with an unbeaten 38 as Hales & Loddon A beat Great Melton B by six wickets in Norfolk League Division 4SE.
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Melton were made to rue their decision to bat first as H&L’s bowlers took the upper hand. After South African James Webster removed the openers the only sustained resistance came from skipper Clive Rennie. But when he fell for 21 to a fine catch by PJ Wayland Minibus and Taxis man-of-the-match Tom Wilkins off the bowling of James Bemment the innings folded tamely to 61 in 22 overs.
It was a good all-round display featuring Isuru’s agility behind the stumps, and a smart run-out and two catches, one off his own bowling, from Wilkins. Webster, Matthew Plummer and James Bemment shared six wickets, while Wilkins and Dave Redford took a wicket apiece.
Victory was not plain sailing for H&L as Webster was trapped lbw for five by Rennie and Jonathan Ward, James Rowswell and Tom Haylett were all bowled for ducks by Tom Grant. But H&L were steered to a six-wicket win in 13 overs by Isuru’s unbeaten 38.