Cricket champions elect overcome Fakenham
Fakenham suffered an eight-wicket home defeat as Vauxhall Mallards landed a potentially decisive blow in the fight for the EAPL title.There was no repeat of the cliff-hanger of a game when these sides met earlier, while Swardeston slumped to their second successive defeat and third-placed Cambridge Granta also lost, giving Mallards a 60-point cushion with four games to play and putting Fakenham down to third bottom.
Fakenham suffered an eight-wicket home defeat as Vauxhall Mallards landed a potentially decisive blow in the fight for the EAPL title.
There was no repeat of the cliff-hanger of a game when these sides met earlier, while Swardeston slumped to their second successive defeat and third-placed Cambridge Granta also lost, giving Mallards a 60-point cushion with four games to play and putting Fakenham down to third bottom.
Fakenham were put into bat and Mallards skipper Paul Bradshaw quickly removed both openers before Hasantha Fernando dismissed fellow Sri Lankan international Michael Vandort for 10. The hosts stuttered to 77 for seven, not helped by some umpiring decisions which raised a few eyebrows along the boundary rope, before Joseph Pipkin launched a revival, sharing in a stand of 71 with Angus Stuart for the eighth wicket.
Pipkin made 62 before becoming one of Fernando's three victims, while Bradshaw finished with four as Fakenham were all out for 189.
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Carl Amos and Rob Purton gave Mallards the perfect base with an opening stand of 75, before Pipkin accounted for Purton (37) and Hamish Barton (15) to make it 101 for two.
Fernando then joined Amos, who hit an unbeaten 83 as the pair completed a comfortable win in the 36th over, Amos hitting 12 fours in his 113-ball innings, while Fernando smashed
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10 boundaries in his 41-ball knock
In a high-profile finish to the season, Fakenham have successive away games, at Swardeston on Saturday and at Cambridge Granta on Monday before entertaining Bury then visiting Great Witchingham.
Fakenham left themselves needing 11 points from their final game at home to Ashmanhaugh on Saturday to gain promotion from Alliance Division Three after an eight-wicket win at Hethersett & Tas Valley.
After limiting their hosts to 227 for seven, Fakenham made 230 for two.
Fakenham B's Bruce Bushell smashed 111no, before Ian Hill returned figures of seven for 17 to seal a 151-run win against Necton in West Norfolk League Division Four. Fakenham B made 196 for seven then bowled Necton out for 45. They finish the season at Necton.
In Division Two, Fakenham A made 166 for six (Will Dunger 79no) to Terrington's 120. Saturday's final match is at home to Downham.
On Sunday, Fakenham meet Great Witchingham in the final of the Lady Mary Trophy at Horsford.