Defeat sees Fakenham stranded at bottom

Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League: Fakenham's position at the bottom of the table looks ever more perilous after they were beaten by Norwich on Saturday and fellow strugglers Horsford beat Cambridge Granta.

Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League: Fakenham's position at the bottom of the table looks ever more perilous after they were beaten by Norwich on Saturday and fellow strugglers Horsford beat Cambridge Granta.

Norwich batted first at Ingham and openers Ben Patston and Felix Flower gave them a solid base with a stand of 30.

All of the Norwich top order made starts, but only skipper Chris Borrett went on to compile a telling score.

He hit 60, before becoming one of five victims for his Fakenham counterpart Michael Smith.


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Fakenham would have been reasonably happy having kept Norwich to 148 for seven, only for Ali Horsley (17) and Surappulige Malinga (15) to provide a late boost to the home side's innings.

Norwich were all out for 193 in the 57th over, with Shaun Cooper also picking up three wickets.

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Fakenham made a poor start as Malinga removed Paul Dunger and Paul Wiseman bowled Smith to make it 14 for two.

Cooper (20) and Stephen Gray (24) began to recover matters, but Fakenham crucially lacked the big score that Borrett had provided for Norwich.

Malinga (three for 27), Wiseman (three for 51) and Ashley Watson (three for 26) steadily took the Fakenham innings apart and Norwich were always in command of the game. Although number 10 batsman Ben Smart provided some late order resistance by hitting 18, he was the last man out as the visitors were dismissed for 132 to hand Norwich a 61-run win.

That was good news for Horsford, who are now 37 points clear of Fakenham after beating Granta by 49 runs at Manor Park.

Batting first, the home side made a disastrous start as both openers, Nathan Perry-Warnes and Chris Spenceley fell for ducks.

But Duminda Perera (32) and Jaik Mickleburgh (53) put on 70 for the third wicket to begin a Horsford fightback.

Matt Wilkinson (29) and Chris Brown (19no) both made valuable contributions as the hosts closed on 168 for eight from their 66 overs. Alex Fullarton was Granta's star bowler with five wickets.

The visitors got off to a similarly horrendous start as Horsford had, with home skipper Paul Newman quickly sending both openers back to the pavilion. It got even worse for Granta when Newman also bowled overseas star Jacques du Toit, leaving the visitors reeling on 10 for three.

Brown was soon in on the act and he picked up four wickets to keep Horsford on top. Perera claimed two and Newman returned to wrap up proceedings with his fourth wicket of the afternoon as Granta were all out for 119.

Fakenham's main hope of survival appears to be catching Clacton, whose freefall continued with a six-wicket defeat at home to Godmanchester.

The improved weather came too late to save the games involving the top two, Swardeston and Bury.

Swardeston's game at The Common against Great Witchingham was abandoned without a ball being bowled and although the match at Brundall between Vauxhall Mallards and Bury did start - Bury reaching 15 without loss - a heavy shower put paid to any chances of further play.

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