Test man at Sunday best
Fakenham's long-awaited Sri Lanken Test batsman Michael Vandort had a disappointing start on Saturday when, after hitting two streaky runs, he became one of three batsmen to fall for just six runs in the reply to visitor's Clacton's 246 for seven.
Fakenham's long-awaited Sri Lanken Test batsman Michael Vandort had a disappointing start on Saturday when, after hitting two streaky runs, he became one of three batsmen to fall for just six runs in the reply to visitor's Clacton's 246 for seven. He showed fine form on Sunday however, getting within 19 runs of a century, writes John Cushion.
The EAPL visitors, third in the table, arrived just in time for the official start time and were asked to bat by Sean Cooper, but expectations of early life in the wicket were dashed as Suffolk county batsman Martyn Cull (97) and Craig Williams (54) threatened a huge score until Sanjaya Rodrigo (three for 53) and Joe Pitkin (three for 61) stemmed the flow.
After the early clatter of Fakenham wickets, Phil Gray led the way to a draw with a battling unbeaten 80 out of 204 for seven off 62 overs. Opener Rodrigo made 28, Cooper 52, and Ben Smart was 23 not out.
Fakenham begin a tough run of fixtures on Saturday, at leaders Vauxhall Mallards, which is followed by a home match against second-placed Swardeston, a visit to Bury, who are currently fifth, then a home game fourth team Great Witchingham.
Vandort showed his elegant talents on Sunday when he opened for Fakenham against Old Buckenham in the Mid Norfolk League and impressed with 81 before being stumped.
With Phil Gray making 44 and Keegan De Ridder 32, Fakenham made 198 from their 40 overs, losing five wickets in the last over, three to run-outs. The visitors replied with 182. Fakenham are now top of Boyle Division One.
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Fakenham A made 176 for five to Bacton's 191 for five in Kevin Grimmer Division Four. On Sunday they visit Caister.
Fakenham's Norfolk Alliance side had a winning draw at Hunstanton. Australian De Ridder made 78 of Fakenham's 218-4, Neil Yarham 47, with Chris Crane (28no) and Ian Slegg (29no) adding late runs, 25 in the last two overs. Hunstanton hung on with 168 for nine with Fakenham having seven deliveries to get the last man.
Skipper Paul Dunger felt the result was a little bit disappointing. “For the second game running dropped catches cost us dear. We put down four, and in the last two games dropped catches have cost us 20 points.”
Saturday's visitors to Highfield Lawn are the Division Three leaders, Hethersett & Tas Valley
In the West Norfolk League, Fakenham A made 167 for five, Heacham winning with 168 for four in Division Two. In Division Four, Fakenham B made 139 for nine in reply to Beeston's 197 for nine. On Saturday, Fakenham A entertain Holt, Fakenham B visit Dereham B.