Sam Wells’ arrival boosts Fakenham Cricket Club

Fakenham hope new overseas signing Sam Wells can provide the impetus to help them overcome Norwich in the race for the Norfolk Alliance Premier Division title.

New Zealander Wells, pictured, has stepped in after South African Kimeshin Chetty returned home and he made his full debut in Saturday's six-wicket win against Lowestoft, after appearing briefly in the abandoned game at North Runcton the previous weekend.

Fakenham chairman Martin Turner said he was delighted to secure the services of 28-year-old all-rounder Wells, who was called up to the New Zealand Test squad in January.

'We chatted to his agent at the beginning of the season and we were close to getting him then,' said Turner.

'We were just fortunate that halfway through the season when we got in contact again he said yes.'

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On Chetty's departure, Turner said: 'It was just unfortunate that it didn't work out and he had to go home.

'He did not really settle here and things came up in South Africa with his cricket contract for next year there.

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'It was a joint decision that it was the right thing for him to go home and we were just lucky to get a replacement. In the end it has worked out for everybody.'

Wells is a left-handed batsman who bowls right arm seamers. He plays for Otago in New Zealand and has a first class batting average of 34.78 from 27 matches. He has also taken 41 first class wickets at an average of just under 37.

Fakenham, who now trail Norwich by three points, travel to Brundall to face Vauxhall Mallards A this Saturday. Norwich face Ashmanhaugh & Barton Wanderers at Ingham.

After last weekend's weather wipeout in the East Anglian Premier League, leaders Swardeston host Sudbury at The Common.

The two teams directly below them in the table meet at Manor Park, as Horsford host Vauxhall Mallards.

Horsford will be without Jaik Mickleburgh, who has won back his place in the Essex first team and is currently playing against Hampshire in the County Championship at Chelmsford.

Great Witchingham make their first visit to league newcomers Copdock & Old Ipswichian.

In Norfolk League Division One, leaders Rollesby travel to Ketteringham Hall.

Bircham moved 12 points clear at the top of West Norfolk League Division One last week with victory over nearest rivals Long Sutton and they will hope to extend that advantage at home to lowly Downham B tomorrow.

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