Brave Ewart plays a starring role as Fakenham make it seven straight wins

Fakenham wicket-keeper John Ewart obviously not worrying about his broken thumb on his way to a matc

Fakenham wicket-keeper John Ewart obviously not worrying about his broken thumb on his way to a match-winning top score of 76 not out Picture: MIKE WYATT - Credit: Archant

Fakenham won their seventh successive game to cement second place in the Norfolk Alliance Premier Division table.

This time it was Old Buckenham who succumbed to yet another excellent all-round performance from the home side in front of their Sponsors’ Day crowd, with the visitors being seen off by 86 runs.

Fakenham were asked to bat first in the blustery conditions. On a dry wicket and with a slightly sluggish outfield as a result of overnight rain, it looked as though scoring was likely to be difficult but it appeared to be just the opposite early on as the 50 was brought up in the 12th over with the loss of just Keegan Monahan-Fairlie.

The introduction of spin into the attack put the brakes on the scoring rate however and also led to wickets falling as Ben Harvey (18), Luke Caswell (6) and Harry Bammant (33) were all dismissed. Suddenly, at 100-5, Fakenham looked to be on the way to posting a distinctly under par score.

It was at this point that wicketkeeper John Ewart, batting with a broken thumb, produced his most important innings of the season. He struck his way to 76 not out aided by good contributions from the lower order to help Fakenham to what looked a challenging 199-8 off their 50 overs, just one run short of a fourth bonus point.

With the wicket starting to take spin, Fakenham knew that a tight start would play into their hands. Luke Caswell with six overs for seven runs and Billy Buckingham with 10 overs, one for 28 provided the economic foundation, but with the Bucks sitting at 50-1 off 16 overs the odds were still tilted slightly in the visitors’ favour.

At this point Coyle brought himself in to the attack and produced a challenging spell of spin bowling that was both economical and valuable as he picked up the crucial wicket of overseas player Amit Sarma.

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With Monahan-Fairlie (2-30) and Ash Layer again complementing the captain at the other end, the screw was firmly tightened, aided by three run outs, before Yin Lo baffled the lower order batsmen with his leg spin and picked up three late scalps to help bowl out Old Bucks for just 113 and secure an excellent 86-run victory, much to the delight of match and ball sponsor Mark Dewson Builders.

On Saturday the first team are away at Acle with a 12 noon start and will be hoping to add yet another win to the growing list for the season.

Fakenham A lost at Acle A by 86 runs in Division Three after scoring 179-9 in reply to 265-5. Alex Walpole was Fakenham’s top scorer with 30. The seconds are at home to Swardeston B on Saturday.