No beating about Bush by Norwich
GIBBS DENLEY EAPL: Bottom of the table Norwich underlined their recent revival by earning a morale-boosting draw against league leaders Great Witchingham.
Norwich had to wait until last week's 30-pointer at Saffron Walden to register their first win of the season and they continued to build on that good work as they put the brakes on the Great Witchingham title express.
After winning the toss and deciding to bat first at Ingham, Norwich suffered the worst possible start when Australian opener Erik Laubscher was removed for a duck by Witchingham's left-arm paceman Ryan McCone.
But Norwich put the set back behind them and a gutsy 105-run third-wicket stand between Harry Bush and Chris Borrett laid the foundations for their 240 total.
Bush's 81 compiled in 103 balls contained eight fours, while Borrett's hard-hit 53 in 75 balls contained six fours and two sixes.
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New Zealander McCone, who is the current leading EAPL wicket-taker, added another four to his haul at a cost of 57 runs, while teenage left-arm spinner James Hale bagged three for 48.
Witchingham failed to hit top gear in a rain-affected reply after the talismanic Carl Rogers was removed cheaply for 21.
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Sam Arthurton's patient unbeaten 33 and a brisk 64 in 54 balls from his father Shaun Arthurton were the mainstays of a Witches total which reached 136 for 5, the duo putting on 84 for the fourth wicket.
Economical Norwich bowling was spearheaded by Chris Borrett's miserly three for 12 from seven overs with Ashley Watson's 11 overs costing only 23 runs.
Horsford were the club to cash in on Witchingham's failure to win as they snatched back second spot from Swardeston and closed the gap on the leaders to 10 points.
A thrilling low-scoring game at Manor Park saw Horsford win by eight runs in a match dominated by bowlers, underlined by the fact that Horsford tailender James Leck was top batsman with what turned out to be a vital 22. After deciding to bat first Horsford were deep in trouble at 57 for 6 as a devastating burst from Joe Barrs (5 for 61) wiped out the top five. But the hosts managed to scrape their way to a 116 total in 46.2 overs.
Luke Caswell (4 for 26) and Michael Warnes (3 for 35) tore through Walden's top order leaving wily spinner Chris Brown to apply the finishing touches as Horsford dismissed the visitors for 108 to conjure up an improbable victory.
Swardeston's game at Halstead was ended early due to a heavy downpour between the innings. Swardeston, having been put in to bat, posted 223 for 9 in their reduced allocation of 58 overs. They were indebted to Jaden Hatwell who held the innings together with a 113-ball 81. EAPL record-breaking opener Joel Abraham also added 36 whilst Ed Hopkins helped Hatwell add 63 for the seventh wicket. For Halstead Matthew Spatcher took 3 for 37 and new import and Bangladesh Test cricketer Syed Rasel finished with 3 for 59.
Vauxhall Mallards' match at home to Sudbury was abandoned without a ball being bowled. Cambridge Granta's game at home to Bury St Edmunds was abandoned in the 30th over with the hosts on 96 for 3. No play was possible in Clacton's home clash with Burwell.
• Cambridge Granta (7 pts) v Bury St Edmunds (2 pts) at Clare College match abandoned.
Cambridge Granta: J Handley lbw Bishop 31, J Atkinson c A N Other b Nunn 34, Douglas Rice b Bishop 16, B Creese not out 4; extras 11. Total (3 wkts, 29.2 overs) 96. Bowling: P Edwards 7-3-24-0, C Wright 7-1-17-0, M Nunn 8-2-18-1, J Bishop 7.2-3-27-2.
• Clacton-on-Sea v Burwell match cancelled.
• Swardeston (9 pts) v Halstead (7 pts) at Halstead match abandoned.
Swardeston : J Abraham c Surry b Spatcher 36, D Martin c Pyman b Rasel 13, P Lambert c Surry b Rasel 11, J Hatwell b Douglas-Hughes 81, M Outar b Rasel 1, G Walker b Spatcher 6, D Micklethwaite c Elsbury b Spatcher 8, E Hopkins b Philp 18, M Thomas not out 10, M Eccles b Philp 13, S Thelwell not out 1; extras 25. Total (9 wkts, 58 overs) 223. Bowling: S Rasel 17-3-59-3, T Philp 11-1-61-2, M Spatcher 17-5-37-3, E Clark 7-1-16-0, C Douglas-Hughes 6-0-32-1.
• Horsford (30 pts) beat Saffron Walden (4 pts) by eight runs at Manor Park.
Horsford: N Perry-Warnes c Smith b Barrs 8, M Warnes lbw Barrs 14, R O'Connell c Marjoribanks b Barrs 7, D Clark lbw Barrs 2, L Caswell c Marjoribanks b Barrs 0, C Spenceley c Gladwin b Cousins 5, M Spenceley run out 13, C Brown b Batcheler 3, J Leck b Done 22, M Warnes run out 2, D Smith not out 4; extras 36. Total (46.2 overs) 116. Bowling: D Cousins 18-11-12-1, J Barrs 15-0-61-5, N Batcheler 8-2-19-1, R Done 5.2-1-15-1.
Saffron Walden: N Gladwin b Warnes 6, G Gillard c Matthew Warnes b Michael Warnes 9, A Laws lbw Caswell 15, S Parmenter c Smith b Caswell 9, A Marjoribanks c Perry-Warnes b Caswell 6, T Price c Michael Warnes by Caswell 2, J Barrs c-b Brown 21, R Smith c Brown b Michael Warnes 14, R Done lbw Brown 12, N Batcheler not out 2, D Cousins run out 3; extras 9. Total (57.2 overs) 108. Bowling: Michael Warnes 14-3-35-3, L Caswell 18-8-26-4, C Brown 18-3-25-2, R O'Connell 7.2-1-16-0.
• Norwich (13 pts) drew with Great Witchingham (8 pts) at Ingham.
Norwich: E Laubscher c Groves b McCone 0, O Higenbottam c S Arthurton Jnr b J M Spelman 35, H Bush c Groves b Dyer 81, C Borrett b Dyer 53, A M Watson c S Arthurton Jnr b Hale 7, B Wright c Dyer b Hale 0, F Flower lbw McCone 23, J Blake not out 16, B Flanagan b McCone 0, P Wiseman c S Arthurton Jnr b Hale 1, T Booth b McCone 0; extras 24. Total (57.2 overs) 240. Bowling: R McCone 14.2-2-57-4, A Dyer 14-2-50-2, C Rogers 11-1-40-0, J M Spelman 6-1-25-1, J Hale 12-2-48-3.
Great Witchingham: J M Spelman b Booth 5, C Rogers c Wiseman b Borrett 21, S Arthurton Jnr not out 33, T Collishaw c Laubscher b Borrett 0, R McCone lbw Borrett 4, S Arthurton Snr c Higenbottam b A M Watson 64, J Hale not out 3; extras 6. Total (5 wkts, 45 overs) 136. Bowling: P Wiseman 14-2-33-0, T Booth 6-3-8-1, C Borrett 7-4-12-3, B Flanagan 3-0-30-0, A M Watson 11-6-23-1, H Bush 3-1-25-0, E Laubscher 1-0-2-0.
• Vauxhall Mallards (12 pts) v Sudbury (7 pts) at Brundall match abandoned.