Norfolk’s Martin Pearse leads England Over-60s to victory over Australia

Norfolk's Martin Pearse captained an England Over-60s side to victory over their Australian counterparts at Bourne, Lincolnshire, last week.

Pearse scored a crucial 38, including six fours, to help England recover from 95 for four after 37 overs. He put on 72 in eight overs with Essex's Mike Byford as the hosts reached 186 for eight from their 50 overs.

Australia's reply started strongly as they reached 69 for one, but tight bowling from Phil Taylor (Yorkshire), who took two for 18, and Nick Andrews (Hunts), who claimed two for 21, helped restrict the visitors to 174 for five at the close.

It is the 12th match between the two sides in the past four years, with England unbeaten in the series so far.

Pearse said: 'This was by far the nearest to being defeated. After the six match series in Australia at the tail end of last year, we realised they are edging closer to us, and the law of averages dictates in the near future they will grab a victory!

'Quite a few of their players played State cricket, but there are not the same opportunities over there to play. In that respect, we are very lucky, as there is as much midweek cricket available as anyone needs to keep their eye in. When I started the Spitfire Over 60 County Championship in 2008, we didn't anticipate just how quickly it would mushroom, but there are now 33 counties involved, with first, second and third XI divisions. There is also an Over-70 league.'

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