Sun brings out tons on The Common
Soaring temperatures brought out some stellar batting performances in the EAPL, with The Common witnessing three centuries as well as a superb Swardeston run chase.
The champions cashed in on a first defeat of the season for nearest challengers Cambridge Granta with a thrilling six-wickets win over visiting Bury St Edmunds which extended their advantage at the top to 23 points.
Bury didn't look a bottom of the table side as they gained maximum batting points for the first time this season with 303-4 declared from 64 overs. Justin Bishop (118) and Toby Adams (119 not out) put on 244 for the second wicket after Swardeston skipper Mark Thomas had claimed the wicket of his opposite number Tom Huggins (28) on 46. The other three wickets all fell to Peter Lambert (3-40) – who was then to lead the home side's run chase.
On a flat pitch with a lightning outfield there was no question of Swardeston being daunted by their target. Opener Lambert became the third century-maker of the day, reaching three figures off 86 balls and going on to make 110 off 95. He put on 96 for the opening wicket with Jordan Taylor (21) and 94 for the second with Stephen Gray, who'd made 74 off 75 balls by the time he was out – soon after Swardeston had started the last hour requiring 83 off 17 overs.
Jonathan Sole soon followed for seven but Richard Sims (46 not out) and Jeremy Elliott (25 not out) steered the hosts home with 16 balls to spare with an unbroken fifth wicket stand of 69. Having done their bit, Swardeston had Woolpit to thank for completing their perfect day, and in particular Craig Estlea, who took four wickets to help restrict Granta to 265-9 declared – then made 125 in an unbroken fourth wicket stand of 208 with captain Michael Jones (71) to steer Woolpit to victory.
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The day's other EAPL century came at Brundall, where Vauxhall Mallards drew with Sudbury.
After home skipper Paul Bradshaw struck early, Ben Reece and Darren Batch put on 188 for the second wicket, Reece plundering 116 off 101 balls while Batch made 68.
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Rory Darkins (38 not out), Jandre Coetzee (37) and Nathan Poole (38 not) weighed in late in the innings to take Sudbury to 329-6 declared – their biggest total in three EAPL campaigns.
Mallards started their chase well with openers David Turner (41) and Joe Larter (31) taking them to 51 in a dozen overs. When they departed new signing Robbie Bridgstock took up the fight with a debut 55, but ultimately time ran out for both sides as Mallards finished on 183-7.
Big-scoring was absent at Manor Park, where Burwell's Adam Huckle took 6-41 to bowl out Horsford for 98 in 38.5 overs – only Stephan Marillier (43) and William Bryan making double figures. The small total proved no picnic in the sun, however. With Chris Brown taking 5-28 they lost seven wickets before getting over the line in the 42nd over, Jeffrey Keyt (31) easing them home after opener Shaftab Khalid (35) had given them a good start.
It was a day to forget for Great Witchingham, who lost by 112 runs at home to Copdock & Old Ipswichian.
After the visitors made 248-8 there was a promising start to the reply as James Spelman (26) and Sam Arthurton (32) put on 38 for the first wicket. But they then collapsed to 79-7 before Jonathan Spelman (37) helped them to a less embarrassing 136 all out.