Fakenham storm to another victory

Fakenham stormed into a 60-point lead over their nearest Norfolk Alliance Premier Division rivals as they completed an eight-wicket win over Saturday morning’s second-place side Norwich & Coltishall Wanderers.

Tea was delayed to enable Fakenham to make the 96 runs needed for victory, well ahead of a terrific thunder storm which hit the town later in the evening.

Skipper Ben Harvey said the team was aware of the weather forecast, but that did not influence their approach. However, his side produced a storm of their own as their main strike bowlers sunk the Wanderers’ boat.

Matty Burton claimed the top three with 7-1-17-3, backed up by Ian Slegg 7-0-2-4, Rudi Hillerman 8-2-26-3 and Sean Cooper 7-0-20-4.

“We trained hard all week but we never expected to roll them over for 95,” said Harvey. “There was some very decent fielding and Matty and Rudi got us off to a great start. We were delighted by Matty Burton. He has struggled for form the last couple of weeks.”

South African Hillerman on Monday admitted that he had been off-colour for a couple of weeks, had lost weight and strength but was now well on the road to recovery.

“Team spirit is really good, I’m really enjoying it and we are working hard,” he said, admitting that Slegg’s form was giving him something to aim at. He was also pleased with the quality of the Fakenham pitch and ground.

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Slegg was “always there”, said Harvey. “Ninety nine times out of 100 you know he is going to produce the goods, but we don’t rely just on him, other players are backing him up.”

Harvey made 16 as he and Keegan Monahan-Fairlie put on 26 for the first wicket, the Australian making his 33 in boundaries apart from one run.

At 45 for two, Harvey felt Stephen Gray (22 not out) and Phil Gray (28 not out) showed their maturity, never looking in any difficulty as they batted Fakenham to a winning 96 for two in the 20th over.

The fixture list has no game for the first team this weekend. “We will look forward to the break and come back even hungrier,” promised Harvey. He said his team would be supporting the second team in their home match with Hathersett & Tas Vally at Highfield Lawn on Saturday.

Fakenham A (240 for five, 18 points) had a winning Alliance Division Two draw at Garboldisham (201 for nine, 8pts), unable to get the last home wicket for the win. Luke Findlay hit 73 for Fakenham, Brian Whitwood 54.

Fakenham are fourth, their Saturday visitors second in the table, 40 points better off.