East Anglian Premier League: Vauxhall Mallards enjoy winning start after Rahul Dewan’s century
Rahul Dewan marked his return to Norfolk with a classy century as Vauxhall Mallards made a winning start to the season on Saturday.
Dewan, who played for Brooke in 2010, has signed up as Mallards' overseas player for this season and he fired 125 on his debut in an impressive 191-run win against Bury at Brundall.
He arrived at the crease with Mallards on 80 for two in the 18th over after being put into bat by the visitors. Sam Plater, who had the unenviable task of replacing prolific runscorer Carl Amos at the top of the order, made 38 and Matt Plater followed up with 25.
Dewan, who made a century for Haryana against England in a tour match in India in November, hammered 15 fours and two sixes in his 124-ball innings.
He featured in a 50-partnership with Steve Goldsmith (22) and by the time Dewan was the eighth man out, Mallards had reached 270.
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The hosts went on to post 293 for nine from their 66 overs, with Indian spinner Abhishek Jhunjhunwala grabbing three wickets for Bury.
The visitors were immediately in trouble as Mallards skipper Paul Bradshaw bagged three early wickets, including Jhunjhunwala. Martin Addison kept the pressure on with two more wickets to reduce Bury to 40 for five.
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The sixth wicket pair showed some defiance, but Matt Plater broke the partnership and went on to take three wickets in four overs. Brett Stolworthy helped wrap matters up with two victims as Bury were bowled out for 102 in the 42nd over.
It was a similarly strong start for Horsford, as Norfolk all-rounder Luke Caswell took five wickets in their 31-run win at Saffron Walden.
Horsford chose to bat first and opener Kaushal Patel made a hardworking 30 on his debut.
Caswell added 29, but it needed another debutant, Stephan Marillier, to hold the middle order together as he made 46 from 93 balls.
Number 10 batsman Alex Lincoln (16no) ensured Horsford batted out their overs to reach 176 for nine.
Caswell struck an early blow in the Walden reply by having Joshua Wells caught behind, but the hosts then moved on to 64 without further loss.
Skipper Chris Brown bowled Glen Batticciotto and from there, Walden struggled to build partnerships.
A burst of four quick wickets from Caswell saw Walden slump from 125 for four to 145 for nine, with Ryan Findlay claiming the key scalp of Giles Ecclestone.
Victory was sealed in the 48th over when Findlay had Tim Smith stumped by Adam Dismore, with Walden all out for 145.
James Hale enjoyed a superb day for Great Witchingham with a half-century and a five-wicket haul – but it was not quite enough to prevent visitors Clacton holding out for a draw.
Hale top scored with a patient 66 for the Witches, helping them recover from 96 for five to post 243 for nine.
South African Stephan Joubert made a brisk 32 on his debut and solid contributions from James Spelman (29) and Troy Allan (29) helped Witchingham's cause.
Left-arm spin duo Joubert (three for 59) and Hale helped reduce Clacton to 180 for eight with time left to complete victory. But the ninth wicket pair dug in until the final ball of the match, when Hale bowled Lewis Kirk to complete figures of five for 47, with Clacton finishing on 196 for nine.
Peter Lambert started the season with a century as Swardeston threw down the gauntlet against Copdock & Old Ipswichian – a challenge the visitors were happy to refuse as they comfortably batted out for a draw.
Lambert, pictured, opened the innings and blasted 11 fours and five sixes in his 109, spanning 142 balls. Stephen Gray added 49 and there was a taste of things to come from New Zealander Jonathan Sole, who struck one almighty six among his four maximums during a 40-ball contribution of 54.
Ian Tufts was unbeaten on 47 as Swardeston declared on 294 for seven from 64 overs.
Mark Thomas removed Hugh Thomas with the score on 31 and there were encouraging signs of a return to form for George Walker as he claimed two wickets, but an unbroken fifth wicket stand of 54 snuffed out any hopes of a Swardeston victory.
Copdock closed on 176 for four, with Martyn Cull on 63no.
Elsewhere, Cambridge Granta beat Burwell by seven wickets and Sudbury dismissed league debutants Woolpit for 62 in a 174-run victory.