Fakenham back on home ground

Fakenham’s Norfolk Alliance pace-setters return to Highfield Lawn on Saturday, 1pm, after three successive away fixtures to face a Norwich & Coltishall Wanderers team who are 45 points behind them in second place.

Wanderers were beaten on their own ground in Fakenham’s first match of the season, and since then Ben Harvey’s outfit has marched towards the title with nine wins from nine games, the weather claiming one match, writes John Cushion.

The weekend saw a four-wicket triumph at Brooke sealed by a James Moy six.

The hosts made 236 with half-centuries from Jeandre Jumat (65) and Richard Timm, who blasted 50 from only 36 balls.

Ian Slegg was Fakenham’s leading bowler as he took four for 49, including three wickets in his last over which leaves him on a hat-trick.

James Brown (56) and Phil Gray (43) featured in a fourth-wicket stand of 86 as Fakenham won in the 49th over with 238 for six.

Skipper Harvey explained that he decided to field upon winning the toss. “We thought the pitch had a bit of life in it. And we got off to a good start, the bowlers have not disappointed all season.

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“They were backed up again by a fielding display which must have saved us a good 30 runs.

Slegg took his four for 49 off 13 overs and Joe Pipkin claimed three for 68 off 11.

Harvey thought Brooke’s was a fair total, but knew that after the first 10 overs the wicket would get better, and with a quick outfield and perfect conditions for batting, Fakenham felt they faced a very achielvable target.

Harvey made 32 and Luke Findlay 20 as Fakenham enjoyed another good opening stand, of 65.

Then came a wobble to 80 for three before Phil Gray and Brown came together.

“Brown was desperate for some runs and he played confidently. The whole side were really delighted when he got his 50, everyone stood up and applauded,” said Harvey,

Pipkin hit 26 off 22 deliveries, which gave impetus to the innings and really took the game away from Brooke.

Then Moy, who has settled into the team really well, cracked 18 off 13 balls, including the final flourish of a six.

“Going into the last five overs, no matter how confident you are, it’s still not an easy time, but he played with such confidence,” said Harvey, who is keen to get his side back home again.