Fakenham get back to winning ways as Caswell shines
- Credit: Archant
Fakenham bounced back to winning ways in the Norfolk Alliance Premier Division courtesy of a fantastic individual performance from Luke Caswell.
Having lost yet another toss at second placed Downham Town Fakenham were inserted to bat on a slow, low, damp wicket after the previous week's heavy rains.
Scoring was always going to be difficult but Fakenham survived 10 overs without losing a wicket before Keegan Monahan Fairlie (10) kicked one off middle stump. Ben Harvey (9) was dismissed the next over after leaving a straight delivery and Fakenham were 25-2.
Luke Caswell and Will Dunger set about rebuilding a total, batting with both technique and patience, and in Dunger's case, the odd belligerent moment.
Dunger (27) finally perished trying one big shot too many, caught at mid-on. Harry Bammant (6) went cheaply after offering an easy catch while Jon Ewart (1) and Billy Buckingham (0) fell lbw. Suddenly Fakenham were 80-6 with 25 overs remaining.
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Caswell was manipulating the ball expertly while new partner Lloyd Marshall played a responsible role, batting patiently and helping the score tick over. Together they took Fakenham to the latter stages of the game before finally opening up, to the extent that Caswell hit a couple of excellent sixes. Both batted brilliantly to see Fakenham to an above par 195-7, Caswell ending on 67 not out and Marshall falling to the final delivery for a crucial 44.
With the wicket drying out and slightly easier to bat on than first thing, a successful first half hour was required. Caswell provided with the ball this time, removing the first four wickets with only 25 on the board. Fakenham were now in complete control and Caswell's opening spell yielded 4-20 off his 10 overs.
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Norfolk's newest recruit Billy Buckingham also claimed three wickets with David Coyle picking up two and Oscar Campbell collected his first ever Premier Division wicket as Fakenham bundled Downham out for 119 to secure an impressive 76 run victory, despite an excellent 44 not out from Downham's Pat Yates.
The win took Fakenham back to second in the Alliance Premier Division, 14 points behind North Runcton who provide the opposition at Highfield Lawn on Saturday in what promises to be an interesting encounter.
Fakenham A were well beaten by Sheringham in their top-of-the-table clash in Division Four. After being asked to bat first they were dismissed for just 83 (Harrison Futter 24), with the visitors then sealing victory for the loss of just one wicket.
Fakenham seconds are at Snettisham on Saturday.