EAST ANGLIAN PREMIER LEAGUE
Great Witchingham 284-4 drew with Sudbury 238-9
AFTER last weekend’s Vauxhall Mallards nail-biter, Darren Batch led his Sudbury Talbots to Great Witchingham where they battled to another hard-fought draw.
Under blue skies and a slight breeze, Batch loss the toss and Witchingham elected to bat first on what looked like a good batting track.
They started solidly, putting on 80 for the first wicket while openers Jonny Gallagher and Billy Moulton-Day looked to take early wickets. Spinners Ben Hyett and debutant Clive Kyangungu steadied the ship – Hyett eventually breaking the partnership, bowling Rogers for 59.
But Witchingham’s line-up, consisting of Norfolk’s top three batsmen, steadily made progress, increasing the run rate.
A second spell from Gallagher after lunch saw two quick wickets fall with the two sharp catches in slip by Hasantha Fernando.
A caught and bowled chance and a mix-up between skipper Batch and Poulson were just a few of the chances that went begging during the innings.
Fernando took the wicket of Spelman, who made 73, the batsman skying the ball up to keeper Adam Mansfield.
The Arthurton father-son combination came to the crease and batted well at the latter stages of the innings, going on to amass 140 runs between them, before declaring in the 63rd over on 284-4.
Gallagher finished with figures of 2-57 off his 15 overs, Fernando 1-62 off 16 and Hyett 1-22 off six.
The weather turned as the Sudbury openers took to the crease with a slight chill and breeze in the air.
Mansfield and 17-year-old James Poulson were determined to see off the new ball, facing up to Kiwi first class player Willy Londsale, a left-arm medium-quick from Canterbury.
Poulson edged behind early on and Mansfield was trapped LBW, which brought skipper Batch and Fernando to the crease.
Both batted well for a solid 71 partnership before Batch was also trapped leg before looking to work the ball on to the leg-side.
Sudbury lost a few quick wickets with Fernando and Nathan Poole consolidating – Poole eventually out LBW for 24.
Fernando, having displayed a fine batting performance, holed out to deep mid-on after tea finishing on 61, which then meant any hope of a chase was over.
Will Shropshire fought well for 22 and Kyangungu did the same for 20, but both fell eventually, Shropshire caught in first slip chasing a wide one and Kyangungu chipping the ball up to mid-on.
This brought the impressive Billy Moulton-Day to the crease, who refused to accept the win was out of reach and smashed a quick-fire 34, which included six fours and a six.
He fell shortly before the close of play which meant tail-enders Hyett and Gallagher needed to block out a nervous four overs at the end for a draw.
Hyett showed great composure when facing Kiwi-quick Londsale and saw the last over out to the great relief of the Sudbury Talbots.
Sixth-placed Sudbury, who took nine points, will be pleased with their performance – to set off with the attitude of chasing the total but managing to hang on for the draw when things didn’t go to plan.