Steep learning curve for Hales

Hales had another lengthy trip this week to Fakenham, looking to cement a place near the top of the Alliance Division Three table.Skipper Stephen Rowe won the toss and elected to bat first on what looked a good fast track.

Hales had another lengthy trip this week to Fakenham, looking to cement a place near the top of the Alliance Division Three table.

Skipper Stephen Rowe won the toss and elected to bat first on what looked a good fast track. Fakenham felt they were strong and proceeded to bowl very well on their ground. The wicket was a fair one to both batsmen who wanted to play shots but also bowlers who were prepared to put some effort in.

The Hales batsmen never really got going. Mark Ramsdale (27) was looking very comfortable and Rob Andersen (22) also played well but these two and then some late blows from Matthew Lovick (20) were the main contributors to Hales' disappointing 142 all out.

Hales knew they had to bowl well to get anything out of the match. The luckless Rob Andersen did that better than anyone else, his nine wicketless overs going for 29 but on another day and with a bit of luck he would have had much more to show for his efforts.

Lovick picked up the first wicket but that brought Fakenham's overseas star De Silva to the wicket and he was ruthless on anything overpitched.

He rode his luck a little at times but nothing was going to hand and his 96 not out in the 143 victory target, to follow his four wickets tells a story of one man's dominance in the game.

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Fakenham took only 28 overs and lost two wickets in reaching their target. The other wicket to fall was taken by Dave Harmer.

Hales are on a steep learning curve now they are playing Alliance cricket but there have been many positives to take so far from this season and if some of the lessons are put to good use they will be there and thereabouts come the end of the season.

Hales A are still searching for their first Norfolk League Division Six victory of the season after slumping to a seven-wicket defeat against Cringleford Lodge A.

The attacking opening partnership of skipper Damien Loines (21) and hard-hitting Aaron Jones (13) gave Hales a flying start but both were dismissed before they could hit top gear. Jones, who began his knock with a six, was caught at deep square leg going for another one.

Young wicket-keeper Tom Collier battled well for his 17 in the middle order where veteran Steve Claxton added a useful 17. Todd Jones weighed in with a sensibly compiled unbeaten 29 to take the Hales total to a mediocre-looking 163 all out in 38 overs.

The Hales bowlers had no chance to settle as Cringleford opener Richard Leeward went on the attack from the outset with a hard-hit 32 while his partner Ray Clarke dropped anchor for his 10. An aggressive unbeaten 75 from James Spinks steered Cringleford to a comfortable victory with 10 overs to spare at windswept Hales Green.

Fresh from their win against Shipdham, Hales Colts travelled to Tas Valley and were asked to field first on a stunning batting pitch.

The hosts soon set about the bowling using the pitch, particularly the outfield, to their advantage.

Jamie Weston soon broke the bat of opener B Elverson a short while after the batsman top-edged the ball into his head, but it was soon third time lucky for Weston when he took the wicket for 19.

Other opening batsman R Jones continued to punish even sometimes good bowling until Lewis White bowled him for a good 78. White was the pick of the Hales bowlers as he consistently bowled a good line and length. Aaron Beaumont gave strong support to help slow the scoring rate slightly, but late on the hosts continued to bludgeon as they cruised their way to 276 all out.

Hales started their reply badly and the top three were all back in the shed with the score on six. Tom Watts continued where he left off against Shipdham with a patient 13 before he was bowled.

Weston joined skipper Bassingthwaighte with the score on 32-4. These two added a further 91 for the fifth wicket to bring up an unexpected third batting point.

Once this milestone was reached Bassingthwaighte decided to go aerial and was stumped for 62, twice as many as he was able to muster all last season!

Soon after Weston got hit on the thigh by some wayward but hostile bowling and had to retire hurt on 32. He resumed a few overs later in an attempt to reach his half-century but was caught just a few yards short of the boundary without adding any further to his fine 32. Hales finally closed on 149 all out.