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Tough game for Topcroft

PUBLISHED: 11:00 30 May 2008 | UPDATED: 07:26 01 August 2010

TOPCROFT hosted reigning champions Downham Saturday and came away with five points, though it could have been much better.

Home skipper Shipley lost the toss and was inserted on what looked to be a belter of a track.

TOPCROFT hosted reigning champions Downham Saturday and came away with five points, though it could have been much better.

Home skipper Shipley lost the toss and was inserted on what looked to be a belter of a track. Warburton and Hancock opened and started solidly putting on 38 for the first wicket until Hancock was caught behind for 14.

This brought Gunawardene to the crease who looked take the game to Downham from the off. Warburton was again proving himself to be the pulse of the side, batting sensibly allowing Gunawardene to play his shots. They had compiled a 69 partnership when Warburton was bowled for a well-made 43, leaving the score 107-2.

Shipley came to the crease and started emphatically, with his second scoring shot smashing Barnard for six, however the fireworks did not last long as Shipley was bowled for eight by the returning Todd's first ball. At 134-3 the innings was finely balanced, with many believing that a 230-plus score would be required for victory.

Baldwin came and went quickly for two bringing Goodfellow to the crease. He followed his captain's trend with his second scoring shot lifting Phangiso into the car park for six.

The runs were beginning to flow again for Topcroft when Gunawardene smashed a full toss straight to cover to depart for a well made 64.

This brought Batty to the crease and he and Goodfellow raised the tempo with some sharp running between the wickets and several boundaries.

Batty departed for a quick 14 having nicked one behind, and Goodfellow followed soon after for 22, having been comprehensively bowled at the start of the penultimate over. Marshall followed for a second-ball duck and it was left to David and Ian Todd to see out the innings. Topcroft finished on 190-8.

Topcroft came out fired up and Gunawardene couldn't have made a better start to the innings, bowling three consecutive maidens.

Unfortunately though Barnard and Stuart batted sensibly taking few risks and had taken the score to 65 when Warburton was brought on and clean bowled Barnard for 33. Stuart then followed soon after, well caught behind by the returning Taylor off the bowling of Baldwin and Topcroft were back in the game at 71-2. Arndt didn't last long, adjudged lbw to D Todd for just eight, and at 93-3 they sensed a chance.

Visiting skipper Lanchester joined his overseas colleague but was foxed by a well- flighted Todd delivery and could only offer a tame return catch which Todd snaffled comfortably.

Topcroft had their tails high with 90 still needed for victory.

Phangiso wasted little time going about achieving the total as he played aggressively at every opportunity, and found himself an able partner in Tullett.

The pair smashed the ball to all parts and picked up lots of quick singles with excellent running, until Tullett (on 23) chipped a Todd delivery to deep mid-wicket, where the chance was put down. Tullett made the most of this let-off and continued to play positively.

The returning Gunawardene did pick up the wicket of Phangiso for 38, well caught on the boundary by I Todd, but by this stage the damage was already done. It was left to Tullett (53no) and Corbett (13no) to knock the remaining runs off with 14 balls spare.

This was a good effort from Topcroft with little reward, and they will now need to pick themselves up in preparation for the long trip to North Runcton next week. Cunningham's Auto MoM: Dammika Gunawardene.

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