Great Witchingham openers start EAPL campaign by putting on 185

Will Rogers guides the ball for runs backward of cover point at Manor Park on Saturday during his in

Will Rogers guides the ball for runs backward of cover point at Manor Park on Saturday during his innings of 58 for Horsford. Picture: TIM FERLEY - Credit: Archant

Great Witchingham's well established opening pair of James Spelman and Sam Arthurton made a flying start to the new East Anglian Premier League season to help their side to derby success.

The talented duo started a delayed campaign in impressive fashion by putting on 185 for the first wicket to set the platform for a 49-run victory over Norwich in a high-scoring match at Ingham.

Ashley Watson won the toss and put Witchingham in to bat on what looked like a good early season wicket, despite all the rain which had delayed the start of the season for a week.

The Norwich skipper was doubtless soon regretting his decision as Spelman and Arthurton scored at six an over, with the latter making 104 with 11 fours and four sixes and Spelman carrying his bat to record an unbeaten 123 (16 fours and one six).

James Hale (29) helped add 75 for the second wicket as the Witches posted a daunting total of 338-4 in their 50 overs.

The Norwich reply also started in fine fashion, with openers Jack Newby - a new recruit from South Africa - and Oli Higenbottam putting on 135 for the first wicket, with Newby marking his debut with an impressive 67 and his partner making 61.

Any realistic chance that Norwich had of reaching the challenging target disappeared when Andy Hanby returned to the attack and bowled both Nipina Senarantne, who has arrived from Cambridge, and skipper Watson to leave the home side on 220-4.

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Norwich continued to battle away however and had reached a creditable 289-6 when the overs ran out.

Both sides had a number of new recruits on show. Tom Collishaw was back with Witchingham after a stint in Nottinghamshire along with Brett Stolworthy, the Norfolk all-rounder who has moved from Vauxhall Mallards, and Nathan Perry-Warnes, who has switched from Horsford.

As well as Newby and Senarantne, Norwich also had Connor Green from Mallards and John Iniff from the forces making their debuts.

Meanwhile Mallards made a disappointing start to the season, going down to Cambridge Granta by nine wickets at Halvergate after being skittled out for just 131. Ben France top scored with 34, while new recruit from South Africa Nicholas Smit went for 13. Ben Claydon saw the visitors home in the 27th over with an unbeaten 69.

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