Norwich beat Wisbech in East Anglian Premier League play-off clash
Norwich reclaimed their spot among the region's cricketing elite with a six-wicket win over Wisbech in the East Anglian Premier League play-off final.
Chris Borrett's side suffered a heartbreaking final-over defeat in last year's decider, but they laid their ghosts to rest with a commanding display at Postwick on Saturday.
Sanjay Mishra inspired the victory – seeing his side home with a classy unbeaten 69 – but skipper Borrett praised a strong team performance.
'It was really satisfying,' he said. 'To win convincingly after losing so narrowly last year, we're really happy.'
All-rounder Borrett was part of the Norwich side relegated from the EAPL two years ago.
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'When we first started the club 15 years ago, we were an amalgamation of two clubs in Norfolk and we had the aim of playing the highest level of cricket in the county.
'When we got relegated, it was pretty disappointing. Our aim has always been to get back up into that league and we're really happy to have done that.
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'We want to be playing the highest level we can.'
Wisbech started brightly in Saturday's showdown after choosing to bat first.
The Tucker Gardner Premier League champions made steady progress with skipper and opening batsman Alan Burton top-scoring with 52.
But Norwich took wickets at regular intervals. Spin twins Frankie Sutton (2-26) and Olly Sutton (2-38) got the better of the Fenmen's middle-order, while Borrett and seamer Paul Wiseman also claimed two wickets apiece. The visitors closed on 187, losing their final wicket in the last over.
Norwich started well in their reply, with openers Oliver Higenbottam (30) and Frankie Sutton (27) batting positively.
Spinners Craig Johnson (2-45) and Gary Freear (1-33) hauled Wisbech back into the game but Mishra's fluent knock proved a match-winning one. He combined with Tom Goodley (42 not out) to break Wisbech hearts.
Burton said: 'We're devastated. We've worked really hard all season. The goal at the start of the year was to get promoted, so we're gutted.
'The boys have got their heads down but we've got to remember it's been a bloody good year. It's the first time the club's ever won the league.
'It's gutting to come so close but there are a lot of positives. We'll be back next year.'
D Haynes c Higenbottam b Matarazzo 10
A Burton* lbw b O Sutton 52
G Freear c Higenbottam b Wiseman 16
J Bowers + lbw b F Sutton 7
S Freear c Matarazzo b Wiseman 26
J Williams b O Sutton 5
B Perrett b F Sutton 13
M Esser b Borrett 13
I Burgess b Borrett 12
S Rippington run out 9
C Johnson not out 1
Total: 187 all out
O Higenbottam c Burton b Johnson 30
F Sutton c Burton b Rippington 27
S Mishra not out 69
C Borrett* c S Freear b G Freear 5
D Matarazzo c Williams b Johnson 3
T Goodley not out 42