Norfolk Alliance champions Fakenham win opening fixture at Diss
- Credit: Tim Ferley
Defending Norfolk Alliance Premier Division champions Fakenham started where they left off last season with another win - but they were made to work hard for their success at Diss.
With strong winds and rain in the air the game was reduced to 40 overs per side.
Having been asked to bat Fakenham were immediately on the back foot, faltering to 17-2 and then 50-5 as Harry Bammant (9), John Ewart (5), Ben Harvey (3), Luke Easwell (7) and Richard Ewart (3) all came and went.
A serious rebuilding job was required and Will Dunger and Billy Buckingham duly obliged. Both were patient and happy to creep slowly towards the 100 mark before they unleashed their full array of strokes. Dunger was more brutal in his clearing of the boundaries while Buckingham relied on timing and deftness of touch to make his way to 47 before being bowled.
Dunger cruised to 65 off 68 balls before playing on to his stumps to leave Fakenham on 160-7. Some big hitting from Lloyd Marshall (16 off 10) ensured their innings closed on 181-7.
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As per last season, Marshall and Caswell opened the bowling and were charged with getting early breakthroughs whilst at the same time maintaining tight control. Caswell did just that, his opening spell of 3-13 off eight reducinf Diss to 20-3 while Marshall's 0-23 off eight was equally important into the strong wind.
At this stage Fakenham were favourites, but with Tooke and overseas player Jebb Swallow at the crease, Diss were still in with a chance and they soon became clear favourites as the score moved to 120-3.
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It was time for Dunger to star again, this time with the ball after a seven-year absence from regular bowling. Caswell inflicted the run out of Tooke before Dunger blasted away to finish with 4-33 including the prize scalp of Jebb Swallow. Captain David Coyle brought himself back into the attack to pick up a couple of wickets and eventually get his side home by 35 runs and collect 23 points from a game that looked to be slipping away on more than one occasion.
This Saturday's game is at home to neighbours Dereham (12 noon) and promises to be an interesting one.
The second team game against Hethersett and Tas Valley A, reduced to 25 overs, saw an excellent eight wicket win.
Harrison Futter scored a fine unbeaten 73 out of Fakenham's 116-2 to better Hethersett's 113-8. On Saturday they are away at Winterton.
Saturday also saw a B team in action from Fakenham, the first for a while, in a Norfolk League 4W match against Bircham A in another weather shortened match, this one of 20 overs. Fakenham scored 58-6 off their 20 only to have Bircham score 59-1 off only 9.5 overs. This Saturday they are away at Denver (1pm).