Triumphant return for truly brilliant Fakenham batsman Chad Bowes

Chad Bowes on his way to a crucial century for Fakenham. Picture: RONNIE HEYHOE

Chad Bowes on his way to a crucial century for Fakenham. Picture: RONNIE HEYHOE - Credit: Archant

Overseas star Chad Bowes finally made his first appearance of the season for struggling Fakenham – and what a difference he made, writes Gordon Turner.

The Norfolk Alliance Premier Division champions had picked up just six points from their opening two matches without the talented batsman to slip to the bottom of the early-season table. But it was a completely different story on Saturday when they visited Diss with their main man back in tow.

Fakenham won the toss and decided to bat on a very cold day with a strong northerly wind blowing through the ground.

Fakenham welcomed back Bowes from South Africa who last year had a very successful season with the club. He opened the innings with Luke Findley and they put on 40 for the first wicket. Bowes was joined by Keegan Monahan-Fairlie. They batted cautiously for a number of overs trying to establish a solid partnership.

They gradually did this and the innings gained momentum, both playing a fine range of shots. Monahan-Fairlie in particular was severe with bowler Chris Cooper driving him back over his head on three occasions for six.

They continued to pile on the runs before a good innings by Monahan-Fairlie was ended by an equally good catch by James Wilby for a fine 72 in an excellent stand of 168. Skipper Will Dunger was next in and he batted with good control and with Bowes moved the score to 262 before the latter was out, caught on the boundary for a fine 129.

The remaining batsmen were looking to boost the total to almost 300 and they got there with with Dunger (34) and Harry Blackeston (19) pushing their side to 295-6.

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Diss opened their innings with Wilby and Simon Cooper. Steven Earl soon had Cooper caught. Wilby was soon joined by Liam Brown and they started to build a useful partnership taking the score to 66 before Brown was out to Toby Hood lbw for 24.

Welby continued to bat with real purpose while wickets fell at the other end.

Only Robert Tooke, 23, made any other contribution. Welby was finally out for 63 and Diss were dismissed for 171 in 37 overs with Hood taking 3-26 and Stephen Earl 3-40.

Cookes of Fakenham man of the match (excluding the professional) was Monahan-Fairlie.

It was also a good weekend for Fakenham A who fielded a team and beat Beccles by 101 runs. On Saturday, Fakenham host Garboldisham while the club’s A-team visit Swardeston A.

On Sunday Fakenham are delighted to be hosting Norfolk versus Cumberland in the MCCA Unicorns Knockout Trophy.

The match starts at 11.30am. There is ample parking in the school playing field and it would be good to see this fixture well supported.