East Anglian Premier League: Horsford beaten in thrilling finish

A dramatic finish at Manor Park saw Horsford beaten by one wicket against visitors Burwell.

Defending a total of just 100, Horsford seemed to be heading for certain defeat when Burwell reached 77 for the loss of four wickets. But Chris Brown's side fought back to reduce the visitors to 96 for nine, before the last wicket pair helped them creep over the line.

Horsford chose to bat first and after the early loss of Kaushal Patel, they advanced to 50 without further loss as Nathan Perry-Warnes (19) and Luke Caswell (31) adopted a steady approach.

After Caswell was the third wicket to fall with the score on 60, Horsford lost Zimbabwean Stephan Marillier and Australian Matthew Love in quick succession, before Ryan Findlay also departed without scoring to make it 61 for six.

Matthew Wilkinson (26no) at least ensured Horsford reached three figures, but their struggle ended in the 59th over, Indian spinner Kiran Adhav ending with figures of four for 18.

Burwell were soon in trouble in their reply at 13 for three as Caswell continued his fine start to the season with two early victims.

Despite Caswell adding another wicket, Burwell looked to be cruising home – until the Norfolk seamer bagged his second successive five-wicket haul by trapping Jeffrey Keyt lbw and then having Adhav caught behind.

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Two wickets for skipper Chris Brown piled the pressure on Burwell and when Perry-Warnes bowled Mark Bissett, the visitors still needed five to win. Last wicket pair Vibhor Yadav and Josh Vowden, however, edged Burwell over the line in the 43rd over.

It was a happier ending for Swardeston, as New Zealander Jonathan Sole hammered them to a six-wicket win at Bury St Edmunds.

Sole blasted 95 from 51 balls, including eight fours and seven sixes – his second successive rapid half-century – as the visitors chased down a target of 190.

Bury were put into bat and two early wickets from Swardeston skipper Mark Thomas helped reduce them to 30 for three.

Justin Bishop led them out of trouble with 96, but he received little support as the hosts were all out for 189 in the 58th over, with Michael Eccles claiming five for 50.

Swardeston lost both openers cheaply and when Stephen Gray followed for 28 to make it 48 for three, the match looked in the balance.

Sole was then joined by Essex Academy youngster Callum Taylor and the pair swiftly took the match away from the hosts with a swashbuckling stand of 138.

Taylor more than played his part, hitting two sixes in his 48no from 41 balls, and after Sole departed with Swardeston needing four to win, the 15-year-old sealed victory with a boundary in the 29th over.

For the second week running, Great Witchingham were unable to bowl out the opposition as they drew at Copdock & Old Ipswichian.

Witchingham chose to bat first and were given a steady start by James Spelman (35) and Carl Rogers (24).

Sam Arthurton took up the reins with a composed 93 from 156 balls, featuring seven fours and a six, before he became one of five victims for Australian Test bowler Peter George.

Witchingham's last six wickets fell for the addition of just 35 runs as they closed on 226 for nine from their 66 overs.

Copdock reached 91 for one in reply, before Stephan Joubert bowled Martyn Cull and they were put firmly on the back foot by a flurry of three wickets from Carl Rogers, making it 122 for five.

The hosts comfortably batted out for a draw, reaching 154 for seven at the close.

Vauxhall Mallards and Sudbury both recorded impressive wins on the opening day – but rain intervened to render their clash on Saturday something of a non-event.

Mallards were put into bat and there was an opening stand of 74 between David Turner and Sam Plater, the latter going on to record his maiden EAPL half-century.

Overseas player Rahul Dewan was dismissed for 12, but Steve Goldsmith (64) helped Mallards to reach an impressive 245 for seven.

A rain break early in the afternoon session left Sudbury with just 44 overs and there was never any prospect of a positive result as they closed on 134 for two.

Cambridge Granta finished two runs short of victory in their draw at home to Woolpit, while Saffron Walden drew at Clacton.

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