EAPL round-up: Chris Brown puts the brakes on Swardeston chase as Witches pile on pressure
- Credit: Archant
Swardeston lost ground in the title race after a derby defeat at Horsford.
The reigning champions went down by five wickets at Manor Park, while leaders Sudbury beat Burwell by one wicket to stretch their lead to 31 points as the season moved into its second half.
Swardeston now have Great Witchingham breathing down their necks after they beat Bury St Edmunds by seven wickets at Walcis Park.
Swardeston chose to bat first but lost both openers cheaply – Jordan Taylor lasting just three balls without scoring and Jason Reynolds going for 11 with the score on 29. Stephen Gray (32) and Joe Gatting (25) both fell to Chris Brown as did Peter Lambert (16) and Freddie Ruffell (5), with the veteran Norfolk skipper completing his five-wicket haul by taking last batsman Thomas Oxley.
Brown was ably assisted by Ryan Findlay, who finished with 3-33 as Swardeston were bowled out for 156 in 51.3 overs.
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Horsford's reply was built around 53 by Stephan Martillier and a last-wicket partnership of 45 between Findlay (27) and William Bryan (21) which saw them reach the target from 53 overs. Ruffell and Mark Thomas took two wickets apiece.
Gt Witchingham were indebted to South African Luke Schlemmer, who did the main damage with bat and ball. Having put Bury into bat they saw their opponents make a total of 257, with Sean Park top-scoring with 124 before he became the first of James Hale's two victims. Schlemmer finished with 5-62 – and the pair of them then put on a 187-run third-wicket partnership to all but clinch victory. Hale made 100 – his sixth score of 50 or more in 10 league innings and his second hundred in the last three matches.
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His exit brought in Mike Jones who made quick work of ending the run chase with two boundaries and a six in his unbeaten 19. Schlemmer (110) carried his bat and finished the game with two big sixes, the first of which brought up his second century of the season.
Norwich drew with Frinton at Ingham. Frinton made 277 all out, with Aaron Watson taking 4-53, while William O'Donnell scored an unbeaten 91 in Norwich's reply of 192-8. Vauxhall Mallards were beaten by 74 runs by Mildenhall at Halvergate.