Swardeston CC’s new-boy makes an immediate imput

At the crease is Mattishall batsman Gordon Chetwood. Picture: Ian Burt

At the crease is Mattishall batsman Gordon Chetwood. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

There was a debut century and two heartbreaking near misses as Swardeston turned on the style to move back to the top of the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League.

Pakistani all-rounder Mohammad Wajihuddin, who only arrived in Norfolk on Friday, marked his first appearance for the club with exactly 100 as the Norwich attack were put to the sword at Ingham.

A mammoth total of 372-6 declared could easily have included three centuries, with Peter Lambert and Lewis Denmark also batting superbly – but both fell agonisingly short of the three-figure milestone.

Opener Lambert was bowled by Aaron Watson for 98 and Denmark got even closer to what would have been a maiden EAPL ton, reaching 99 before having his stumps re-arranged by Ben Hutchinson.

The in-form trio, who managed 13 sixes between them – with Denmark hitting five in a row – helped Swardeston race along at nearly eight runs an over and set up an early declaration.

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It was a daunting challenge for Norwich and despite a brave knock from opener Oly Higenbottam (46) they fell 205 runs short of their target, with Tom Oxley taking 4-58 and George Walker 3-33.

With morning leaders Cambridge Granta having to settle for a losing draw at home to Frinton, Swardeston moved six points clear at the top of the table, with five rounds of matches now having been played.

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Devon Conway was in the runs again as Vauxhall Mallards fought out a thrilling draw at Saffron Walden. The South African batsmen made it four big contributions in his five innings so far with 91 out of a modest total of 203 all out. He was dismissed cheaply last week but his three scores before that were 90, 125 not out and 70 not out – a remarkable start for a newcomer to EAPL cricket.

Saffron Walden struggled to keep up with the required run-rate in reply and it cost them in a frantic finish as three late wickets, including two run outs, left them stranded one run off their target of 202-8. Paul Bradshaw was the most successful Mallards bowler, taking 3-62.

Horsford finally picked up their first win of the season at the fifth time of asking as they saw off Burwell at Manor Park. In a match where the bowlers took centre stage, skipper Ryan Findlay was the star man, taking the first six wickets to fall to finish with figures of 6-44 and send the visitors tumbling to 132 all out. He was well backed up by Caleb Futter (3-30) and although it was far from plain sailing after the break, Horsford eventually got home with four wickets to spare.

Great Witchingham battled their way to 172-9 in 64 overs against Woolpit – but it wasn't nearly enough.

The loss of Sam Arthurton for a duck in the second over set the tone for the Witches, with only James Hale, who made 62 in 142 balls, offering any sustained resistance.

Woolpit won the match with plenty to spare as Craig Eastlea saw them over the line with an undefeated 59.

While Swardeston continue to impress it has been a disappointing start for the four other Norfolk clubs, with Horsford's success on Saturday taking their aggregate number of wins up to just five.

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