Vauxhall Mallards and Horsford get seasons up and running

Vauxhall Mallards and Horsford both got their league campaigns up and running on an afternoon when rain had a big say in proceedings - but thankfully not the final say.

The pair started the day locked together at the bottom of table and ended it with struggling neighbours Norwich below them after coming through tough home games to record their first wins of the season.

On a day when four of the six fixtures required Duckworth Lewis calculations Mallards’ game with Copdock went the full distance, with the hosts coming out on top by 31 runs following yet another batting masterclass from new overseas star Nicholas Smit.

The young South African teamed up with Ben France (39) to repair the damage after the home side had slipped to 17-2 on an overcast morning and went on to make an unbeaten 91 in a total of 198. His 102-ball innings maintained an impressive streak since an opening day 13, with an 80 in his second EAPL game having been followed by an unbeaten 99 in the Carter Cup. Smit must be wondering what he has to do to finally pass three figures - although a first century shouldn’t be long in coming if he maintains his current form.

Copdock were dismissed for 167 in reply as France took three wickets and Paul Bradshaw and Adam Todd two apiece.

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Horsford weren’t so lucky with the weather at Manor Park and were left to chase a revised target of 133 in 23 overs after restricting Cambridge Granta to 210-9.

Opener Chad Bowes, another South African, led them home by six wickets in the 21st over with an unbeaten 58 after Trisan Blackledge (75 not out) and Nathan Thurston (4-61) had been the stars earlier in the day.

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Not for the first team this season Norwich posted a decent total in their game at Mildenhall - but it wasn’t enough for their bowlers to defend.

Skipper Ashley Watson (77) and opener Jack Newby (69) made the big totals in a more than respectable 259-7, and it got even better when Mildenhall slipped to 42-2 in reply. But that was as good as it got for Norwich as Joe Reed (109 not out) and James Stamatis (112 not out) put on an unbeaten 213 for the third wicket.

The innings of the day came at The Common, where Callum Taylor made a superb 173 in Swardeston’s daunting total og 338-9 against Bury St Edmunds. The Essex youngster smashed 17 fours and eight sixes in a 131 ball innings to take the game away from the visitors, who finished on 105-5 chasing an unlikely DL target of 179 in 21 overs, after being 18-5 at one stage.

Great Witchingham survived a scare with the weather to beat Burwell and Exning by four wickets at Walcis Park.

Sam Arthurton won the toss and asked Burwell to bat first and the game got off to lively start with Andy Hanby clean bowling Simon Donald with the fourth delivery of the innings.

Burwell continued to struggle and were dismissed for 132, with three wickets for Hanby and two each for Brett Stolworthy and James Spelman.

Rain started to fall at the interval and after a delayed re-start Witchingham had a reduced Duckworth Lewis target of 118 from 38 overs, with the hosts needing to bat for a minimum of 10 overs for a result to be achieved. With the score on 23 at the end of the eight over the players left the field as rain came again. When play resumed Witchingham’s new target was 97 from 29 overs and when James Hale went they still needed 20 with six wickets down. But Brett Stolworthy with 14 and Murray Breetzke with four saw Witchingham home to victory without any further drama with 13 balls to spare.

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