Alliance champions Brooke start season with win
- Credit: Ian Burt
Champions Brooke overcame a stern challenge from Old Buckenham to get their title defence off to a winning start on Saturday.
Close season recruit Daniel Vihm shone with both bat and ball as John Habershon's side edged home by three wickets after looking in complete command at the halfway stage.
The Bucks were bowled out for 149 in the 44th over, with Vihm taking 4-40, but that wasn't the end of the story as Brooke lost wickets regularly in their pursuit of a modest target. They got there in the end, however, with Robert Panter top scoring with 44 and Vihm making a patient 36 in 93 balls at the top of the order.
It was very much a batsman's day at the Norton Warnes Ground as Cromer saw off North Runcton by six wickets in a match which produced over 500 runs.
Runcton's Ben Robinson (96) and Ben Coote (94 not out) led the way as the visitors got up to a more than useful 256-6 in their 50 overs, but they were then let down by the bowlers, who handed Cromer no fewer than 55 runs in wides. That lack of discipline proved crucial, with an unbeaten 76 from Michael Warnes steering the home side to victory with more than four overs to spare.
Newly promoted Acle claimed a notable scalp as they beat Sprowston by five wickets. They put their visitors in and restricted them to exactly 200 before overhauling their target for the loss of five wickets, with Jaskaran Cheema there at the end on 66. Sridhar Tenjaria (76 not out) and Tom Keen (58) had proved the mainstays of the visitors' innings.
There was a noteworthy all-round performance in Division One, with Swardeston A youngster Flynn Drinkell shining with both bat and ball as his side saw off Lowestoft by 35 runs.
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Drinkell made 73 out of a total of 206-7 and then took 4-15 as the visitors were dismissed for 171, with Tom Brice (77) unlucky to be on the losing side.
The two newly promoted sides made impressive starts. Bradfield bowled out Diss for just 110, with Jez Wright taking 5-22, before winning by seven wickets in the 19th over, while Thetford eased home with just as much comfort against Dereham.
Chasing just 123 they also won by seven wickets, with Ryan Conroy (54 not out) guiding them home.