Topcroft win after tense finish

Topcroft put on a fine team effort to beat visitors Cromer by five-wickets in a nail-biting finish.Skipper Shipley won the toss and elected to field.

Topcroft put on a fine team effort to beat visitors Cromer by five-wickets in a nail-biting finish.

Skipper Shipley won the toss and elected to field. Cromer openers Davies and former Topcroft player Ardense started solidly building a partnership of 23 before Davies (9) was caught by wicketkeeper Taylor off Marshall.

Ardense was removed, caught at the wicket off an unplayable delivery by Gunawardene for 16. Marshall and Gunawardene continued to bowl tight spells, and at drinks Cromer were 63-2.

Baldwin and Warburton were then introduced into the attack and continued to build pressure on the Cromer batsmen. Warburton had Charlwood caught one-handed by Gunawardene (MoM), and Warnes was then caught behind off the bowling of Baldwin, leaving Cromer 100-4.

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Brown and Buck put on 35 runs before Warburton struck again, removing Buck, caught behind by Taylor. David Todd was then introduced into the attack to stem the flow of runs, and was rewarded immediately, removing Elliot for one. Todd then bowled a rare wicket maiden in the 38th over, bowling Webster before claiming another wicket, Gascoyne caught by Shipley.

Cromer's innings ended on 153-8, Brown making 39 not out. Todd ended with brilliant figures of 3-5 to build on great work by all the Topcroft bowlers, supported by a good fielding display and four catches for wicketkeeper Taylor.

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Topcroft required 154 runs to win the game. The reply started brightly, with the score swiftly moving to 17 before Warburton was bowled by Warnes for 11. Gunawardene and Hancock took the score to 66 before Hancock was bowled by Ardense for a battling 19.

Cromer's bowlers toiled well to slow the Topcroft scoring rate and the pressure led to the wicket of Gunawardene, bowled by Elliot for a dynamic 36. Shipley joined Baldwin at the wicket and was given an early life, dropped by the wicketkeeper without scoring. Baldwin was caught for 19 off the bowling of Warnes, setting up a tense finale. Goodfellow made some attacking shots, and his influence rubbed off on Shipley, who hit Elliot for a towering six and then a four, to take the runs required below 25 off six overs.

Goodfellow was then trapped lbw for 14 by Craske. With five runs needed, Batty steered the ball to the fine leg boundary for four and then scored the winning run to see Topcroft win a tight game by five wickets. Shipley finished 24 not out and Batty seven not out.

Topcroft B cemented their position at the top of NCL Division Nine with a win at home to Horsford C. Tim Alexander grabbed three wickets to be top bowler while Johnston hit an entertaining 69 as Topcroft won by five wickets.

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