Mini collapse scare but Beccles A win

Beccles A recorded their third successive win, by three wickets at Saxlingham A in Norfolk Alliance Division Six, in a game reduced to 34 overs per side.

Beccles A recorded their third successive win, by three wickets at Saxlingham A in Norfolk Alliance Division Six, in a game reduced to 34 overs per side.

Winning an important toss, Clarke elected to bowl first in the inclement conditions and then witnessed Saxlingham press the self-destruct button as they approached the game in a Twenty20 manner.

Buck and Keely took an early wicket each to reduce the hosts to 12 for two after four overs.

With all the batsmen looking twitchy at the crease and eager to score, the total rose to 32 before the introduction of Ross, and his gentle leg spinners transformed the game.

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He tied up one end by conceding only seven runs off his allotted nine overs, and with some terrific outfielding from the whole team, the Saxlingham innings crumbled to 62 for seven in the 23rd over.

Both Ross and Wilson picked up two wickets and it was left to Buck, Hunter and Keely to mop up the tail.

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This they did to great effect and the total limped to a modest 84 all out, probably 40 to 50 runs short of the mark.

With Saxlingham keen to take early wickets, the Beccles reply got off to a great start, with 17 on the board after only three overs.

Puxley and Hunter had added 33 when the latter (16) was first out.

This brought the in-form Clarke to the crease and he marked his arrival by smashing his 70th four of the season from his second ball.

Puxley (11) edged one to slip in the 14th over and Warnes (6), who has been out of the game for so long, struggled with the conditions and after 18 overs the score was 56 for three.

Clarke and Liam Thorpe (4) then added 22 runs to take Beccles to the brink of victory.

But not wanting to win the easy way, Beccles suffered a mini collapse, much to the enjoyment of the large and vociferous crowd that had now gathered.

First Thorpe, then Ross (0), then Clarke (31) and finally Buck (2) saw Beccles from a winning position of 77 for three to a nerve-racking position of 82 for seven.

Paul Thorpe was out in the middle to see Beccles home but couldn't get himself to the right end to face any bowling.

It needed Olly Keely to play out 11 successive balls before Thorpe could face one, and then the experienced campaigner calmly guided the ball between the slips to seal a fine victory.

Bob Knights family butcher MoM: Kelvin Ross.

Saxlingham A: J Vincent b Buck 8, M Hedges c Hunter b Keely 0, D English c Warnes b Ross 9; R English b Wilson 21, D Fowles c Hunter b Wilson 4, M Creasy b Keely 18, W Flemming b Ross 5, M Nichols c Buck b Hunter 0, C Neave run out 7, A Fisher b Buck 5, J Brookes not out 0; extras 7. Total (all out): 84.

Bowling: L Buck 9-1-20-2, O Keely 7.2-0-22-2, K Ross 9-6-7-2, M Wilson 4-0-14-2, T Hunter 4-0-16-1.

Beccles A: J Puxley c Vincent b Neave 11, T Hunter b Hedges 16, A Clarke c Vincent b Brookes 31, N Warnes c Creasey b Neave 6, L Thorpe b Brookes 4, K Ross c Hedges b Nichols 0, L Buck c Nichols b Brookes 2, O Keely not out 1; extras 12. Total (7 wkts): 85.

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