Fakenham record a convincing win before the rain arrives
- Credit: Archant
Norfolk Alliance Premier Division leaders Fakenham produced their best bowling and fielding performance of the season by far to beat both the weather and third placed Brooke.
With heavy rain forecast all day it was to everyone's surprise that the game got under way just half an hour late, with Fakenham's captain David Coyle finally winning a toss and electing to field on a wicket conducive to seam bowling.
In a match reduced to 30 overs a side Luke Caswell's first delivery was a long hop which was dispatched for four but from then on it was all Fakenham. Caswell and Lloyd Marshall bowled perfectly for the conditions and Brooke had been reduced to 16-4 off eight overs when Marshall (2-6) was removed from the attack. Caswell completed his spell, picking up 3-20 off his allotted six overs.
With Cebo Tshiki at the crease anything was still possible but Billy Buckingham had other ideas, returning his best figures in the Alliance Premier. He dismissed Tshiki before dismissing Brooke's lower order en-route to a brilliant five-wicket haul for just eight runs as Brooke were dismissed for a paltry 61.
Fakenham's biggest concern now was going to be the impending rain and Jon Ewart and Keegan Monahan-Fairlie ensured no early alarm bells rang as they took the score to 22 in the face of some good bowling before Ewart ran out Fairlie for 17.
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Ewart (10) and Ben Harvey (9) were both dismissed lbw but by this time Fakenham were almost home and dry. Will Dunger hit a slow long hop to square leg with just one needed to win and it was left to Caswell and debutant Olly Hall to see Fakenham secure a six-wicket win and 23 points just before a prolonged deluge arrived.
The win leaves Fakenham with a 14 point advantage ahead of Saturday's game at home to Garboldisham (noon) when they will be hoping for revenge for an early season loss.
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In their home game at North Elmham Fakenham B also dodged the rain in another 30-over game against Beeston in Norfolk League 4W.
Beeston were dismissed for 109 with only James Laing showing any real resistance as he made 52.
Ben Ashford and Mark Campbell opened for Fakenham and found the conditions to their liking, with both finding the boundary with regularity. Campbell was finally bowled by George Bridges for 24 but the damage had been done and Fakenham, with just the loss of one more wicket, reached the 110 target in just 19 overs with Ashford 49 not out. The win lifted the side to second.
The second team also added to the success of the day with a home seven-wicket victory over Beccles A in Alliance Four after dismissing their visitors for 98.