Youngster Buckingham catches the eye for Hales and Loddon
Teenage talent Matthew Buckingham posted a fine 73 but Hales and Loddon were outgunned at Thetford A in Norfolk Alliance Division Six.
Buckingham showed maturity way beyond his 16 years to register his maiden half century as H&L attempted in vain to overhaul Town’s 284-9 total.
Against some seasoned bowlers Buckingham produced an excellent effort containing 12 fours, but found little in the way of support. Aldwyn Lindsay’s cameo 23 was the next best score as H&L were all out for 175 in the 38th over.
Opening duo Jack Cook (8) and Milton Lindsay (9) were both claimed cheaply by medium-pacer Gav Siriwardena as Town took an early grip on proceedings.
When Mark Stewart (3) was adjudged lbw to a delivery from medium-pacer Ray Smeed, H&L’s prospects of victory sunk further. There was a brief cameo from Aldwyn Lindsay before he was trapped leg before by spinner Mick Piggott and Martin Wells hit a mighty six before holing out to deep mid-wicket.
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While wickets tumbled around him Buckingham maintained his composure before Smeed broke through his defences. Despite an injury which meant he had been unable to bowl Dave Redford contributed a spirited unbeaten 15 as H&L were dismissed for 175.
After being invited to bat by stand-in skipper Pete Dye the hosts had taken first use of a good-looking track and the experienced duo of Darren Newey (59) and Mick Piggott (77) established a 140-run second wicket partnership in 24 overs to lay the foundations for Thetford’s big score. James Rowswell bowled a decent spell to claim 3 for 59 from his eight overs, figures tarnished by his final over which was despatched for 20. Jack Cook’s five overs of spin returned 2 for 26 and there were wickets apiece for Buckingham and Richard Cook.
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Hales and Loddon A (145) lost to Colney (148-5) by five wickets in Norfolk League Division Four South East.
New recruit James Webster scored his second century in as many games but could not prevent the side from slipping to a five-wicket defeat to Colney. The South African newcomer, who hit 17 fours in his ton, was eventually bowled by Simon Carding having hit 102 out of the 114 runs on the scoreboard at the time. The visitors were made to battle hard for their victory, taking 41 overs to reach their target.