MARSHALL HATCHICK TWO COUNTIES CRICKET CHAMPIONSHIP DIVISION ONE
EXNING I v MILDENHALL I
MILDENHALL (19 pts) BEAT EXNING (6 pts) BY 157 RUNS
The cavernous gulf between top and bottom, the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, was illustrated to it’s full extent at the Park on Saturday when Division 1 Champions-in-waiting, Mildenhall, put Exning to the sword as they powered their way to 328 for 7 in an eventual massive 157 run victory.
The hosts needed to grab every crumb offered to them on the hottest afternoon of the season, so when Frans Bester was dropped with only 4 runs to his name, Exning only had themselves to blame as he rampaged on for a monumental 162, including 17 fours and 5 sixes, from 146 balls.
On an innocuous batting track offering the seam bowlers precious little encouragement, the slow bowlers were soon in business, although Daren Hayward (1 for 10) did induce Ben Shepperson (20) into lobbing a catch to Simon Lawson at square leg.
In a 2nd wicket stand of 138, Azeem Ghumman (58) gave Bester dutiful support before finally being deceived by the flight and guile of Tim Catley’s slower ball as he smashed the ball straight back to the bowler to be caught and bowled.
Simon Lawson grabbed his only wicket in a 16 over spell when he bowled Alex Reynolds at 211 for 3, but any hopes Exning had of restricting the score to an ‘acceptable’ 250, were blown away as Bester powered on accompanied by further fireworks from Stevie Lankester (36), Andy Squire (21) and James Holmes (15).
A tired looking Bester was finally bowled by Tim Catley, 158 runs after being dropped, leaving the innings to close on 328 for 7 with Catley having Mark Geeves to thank for clinging on to two steepling 6-hit attempts leaving him with 4 for 97.
Daniel Baigent and Holmes opened up the Mildenhall bowling with three maidens to perhaps show how difficult Exning’s run chase was going to be, but Catley did offer a glimmer of hope as he took 11 runs from Baigent’s next over. That optimism was soon shattered as each bowler claimed a wicket a-piece to see the openers back in the Pavilion with only 25 on the board.
Simon Allen (27) and Ollie Lawson tried to stage a recovery as they put 39 runs together for the 3rd wicket, before Allen fell to Shepperson’s slow bowling, which was then followed by Exning’s most productive partnership of the day as Lawson and Kent Tomsett stayed together for 73 runs, both scoring 42 each.
With the slow bowlers making little impression on breaking this partnership, Bester was called back into the attack and in the space of 4 overs, he had clean bowled Lawson, Tomsett and Daren Hayward as the score lurched from 137 for 3 to 145 for 6.
Lankester gained a further two wickets to take the score to 163 for 8, but try as they could, the visitors could not see the back of the Exning tail in the final 9 balls, leaving the hosts on 171 for 8 and the visitors 1 point short of the full house of 20 points.
Exning’s attempts to prize themselves away from the bottom spot in Division 1 gets no easier this Saturday when they take the short trip to Woolpit to face the team 2nd in the League and holiday ‘unavailabilities’ eating deeply into their meagre resources.
HUNTS COUNTY BATS SUFFOLK CRICKET LEAGUE DIVISION TWO
HADLEIGH v EXNING SUNDAY XI
HADLEIGH (20 pts) BEAT EXNING SUNDAY XI BY 134 RUNS
A carbon copy of the 1st XI match the previous day; lost the toss on a swelteringly hot afternoon, opposition bat first and score a ‘hat load’ with catches being spilled by the Exning fielders at will, and then their reply comes up woefully short to lose by 134 runs.
A young and inexperienced Exning team fought hard in the ‘midday sun’, but 10 dropped catches was not ideal as the opponents stacked up a 40 over total of 233 for 3.
Opener, Nikhil Ellis, led the way reaching 110 before Simon Allen stumped him off the bowling of Mark Gibson, while Ryan Phillips, eschewing every shot except the sweep, motored along to an unbeaten 79.
Gibson toiled away for his 2 for 44, while the only other wicket taker was Ollie Lawson with 1 for 46.
Exning were soon in trouble in their reply when Blake Ambrose (2 for 37) saw the end of Simon Lawson in the 2nd over, although Sash Suresh (28) and Allen flattered to deceive as they put together a 2nd wicket stand of 59 before Suresh became Ambrose’s second victim.
Martin Grayling (2 for 14) ended any lingering hopes Exning had of victory by trapping Simon Allen LBW just as he had reached a deserved 50, with wickets then falling regularly until Brett Crisp (3 for 3) summarily dismissing the tail to leave the visitors high and dry on 99 and victory to the hosts by 134 runs.
This Sunday, the team take a rest from League action, although Exning Park is the venue for the annual Clive Monk Memorial match where Exning’s David Monk brings together a team to play in memory of his father against Clavering; the match commencing at 1pm.