EAPL preview: Olly Stone to step up comeback with Vauxhall Mallards

Olly Stone in action for Northants. Picture: Northamptonshire CCC

Olly Stone in action for Northants. Picture: Northamptonshire CCC - Credit: Northamptonshire CCC

After a false start to the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League season last weekend, the club season will ease into first gear tomorrow, weather permitting.

Every match in the EAPL was cancelled without a ball being bowled due to heavy rain last week.

The only match scheduled to be played in Norfolk sees Vauxhall Mallards welcome Norwich to Halvergate – with the hosts welcoming Northamptonshire bowler Olly Stone back to the club.

Stone returns to his boyhood club as he steps up his recovery from a stress fracture in his back that prevented him from joining up with the England Performance Programme during the off-season.

The 22-year-old missed a bowling camp in South Africa and an England Lions T20 series and one-day series against Pakistan A in Dubai after being told that rest was needed for the injury to fully heal.

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The former Thorpe St Andrew School pupil took 38 wickets in 11 County Championship Division Two matches last year, finishing with an average of 28.13 and taking his second first-class five-wicket haul.

Mallards will hope the fast bowler can help them get off to a strong start, after narrowly missing out on the title at the end of last season, while Norwich are looking to improve on third from bottom.

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The Ducks held on for a losing draw at home against Norwich last season but won the reverse fixture earlier in the season with eight wickets to spare.

Reigning champions Swardeston will kick-start their pursuit of a fifth consecutive title success at newly-promoted Sudbury.

There are also trips to Suffolk for Great Witchingham and Horsford, with the Witches looking to get the better of mid-table rivals from last season Copdock & Old Ipswichian, while Horsford face Bury St Edmunds with both teams looking to improve on bottom-half finishes in the last campaign.

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