Norfolk Cricket Alliance: Sprowston the sole winners on opening day in Premier Division

Sprowston claimed the only outright victory on the opening day of action in the Alliance Premier Division.

Simon Chipperfield's side hosted newly-promoted Cromer and battled hard to record a five-wicket win.

Cromer batted first and were reliant on the efforts of Richard Charlwood, who made 58 as his team were bowled out for 150.

Andy Hanby (two for 24) and Sam Niblett (two for 16) each picked up two wickets in economical spells, with Australian debutant Matt Foster and Rob Purton also claiming two victims apiece.

Purton then led Sprowston to victory with an unbeaten 65, supported by Foster (27). Ant Robinson was Cromer's most successful bowler with two for 25.

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Reigning champions Norwich were denied a winning start by an obdurate last wicket Downham pair at Postwick.

Chasing Norwich's 230, Downham seemed likely to succumb when they lost their ninth wicket with the score on 173.

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But last man Rob King survived 17 balls and Dom Tulett blocked 14 deliveries without scoring as Downham escaped with a losing draw.

Earlier, Oliver Higenbottam hit 75 from 108 balls, including 10 fours and a six, while overseas signing Dominic Matarazzo marked his debut with an entertaining 43.

Addam Todd returned figures of three for 36 and Downham debutant Paul Harwood picked up four late wickets as Norwich were bowled out on the final ball of their innings.

Aaron Watson removed both openers quickly in the Downham reply, but Norwich were held up by Harwood, who hit three sixes and six fours in his innings of 67.

Skipper Chris Borrett raised hopes of a Norwich victory with three quick wickets, before the day ended in frustration for his side.

Fakenham were also thwarted by dogged defence in their winning draw at home to Old Buckenham.

The hosts racked up 280 for three, with half-centuries for Sanjay Rodrigo (91), Ashley Jarvis (69no) and Chris Spenceley (57).

Old Buckenham's chase never lived up to the name as they closed on 144 for four in reply.

A closely fought match at North Runcton saw the hosts take a winning draw against Vauxhall Mallards A.

Runcton batted first and made 167 for nine, before Mallards replied with 133 for seven.

Stow held the upper hand at Ashmanhaugh & Barton Wanderers but were unable to secure victory.

The visitors posted 194 for seven and the home side had reached 140 for eight at the close.

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