Topcroft Cricket Club kick things off in fine style

Topcroft travelled to north Norfolk to finally get their 2012 campaign under way. New Skipper James Goodfellow won the toss against Bradfield and asked the hosts to bat.

The new-ball pair of Ben Baldwin and Ian Todd showed no signs of ring rust and were bowling excellent lines. Todd's effective opening spell was nine overs for 10 runs, picking up the wickets of Johnson (0) and Botwright (2); both clean bowled.

The experience of Bidewell and Yarham steadied Bradfield's ship and helped them recover from 18 for two, before Goodfellow had Yarham (21) well caught by brother Matthew before drinks, with the score on 52.

D Register (22) was next in and although he started slowly, he found the boundary rope for several fours to take the score past 100 – so there was relief when a leading edge gave Baldwin a return catch. It sparked a mini collapse as Baldwin took two more in the same over to reduce Bradfield to 102 for six.

Bidewell kept the scoreboard ticking over and werewas proving difficult to dislodge, well supported by the tail. Goodfellow introduced 16-year-old Harold Windridge into the attack and his excellent line and length soon brought a wicket when the young all-rounder trapped Seaman.

Topcroft unfortunately ran out of time in their quest to pick up maximum bowling points as the hosts finished on 151 for nine, with a fine unbeaten 62 from Bidewell.

Topcroft's reply was headed by Hancock and Todd, but the pair found runs difficult and Hancock (3) was caught at mid-wicket by Johnson of Wiseman with the score on five.

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Baldwin at three was in no mood to take his time, finding the boundary on regular occasions, He looked set for a big score but a mistimed pull off Yarham's first ball saw Register take a simple catch at gully.

Todd's rate of scoring increased, but with the visitors looking well set at drinks on 75 for two the break led to a wicket, as Todd was bowled by Yarham for a well made 36.

Bradfield's two slow bowlers saw Topcroft's middle order struggle to score and with only 24 runs in the 15 overs after drinks for two more wickets, the odds of a first victory of the season looked increasingly unlikely. Wickets were then lost in the pursuit of runs. J Goodfellow holed out at long-on and Rostron soon followed, run out, to leave the score on 120 for seven. Taylor joined Windridge at the crease and the young pair added 20 in three overs – but Taylor was run out off a direct hit, it was up to Windridge and M Goodfellow to see out the remaining balls to claim a draw (144 for eight).

Overall it was a good first run-out of the league season and Topcroft look forward to welcoming leaders Bradenham to Topcroft Sports Field on May 19, 1pm start.

• Bradfield: A Johnson b Todd 0, S Bidewell not out 62, E Botwright b Todd 2, D Yarham c M Goodfellow b J Goodfellow 21, D Register c-b Baldwin 22, A Kimber lbw Baldwin 0, P Abbs c J Goodfellow b Baldwin 0, M Reynolds lbw Rostron 10, T Seaman lbw Windridge 1, G Philips c Todd b Baldwin 12, T Wiseman not out 2; extras (b3 lb5 w9 nb2) 19. Total (9 wkts, 50 overs) 151. Bowling: B Baldwin 13-1-46-4, I Todd 13-3-25-2, G Rostron 13-3-46-1, J Goodfellow 8-2-19-1, H Windridge 3-1-7-1.

• Topcroft: C Hancock c Johnson b Wiseman 3, I Todd b Yarham 36, B Baldwin c Bidewell b Yarham 29, D Reeder lbw Reynolds 14, B Davey lbw Johnson 4, J Goodfellow c Botwright b Reynolds 8, G Rostron run out 8, H Windridge not out 6, H Taylor run out 14, M Goodfellow not out 2; extras (b2 lb2 w10 nb6) 20. Total (8 wkts, 50 overs) 144. Bowling: T Seaman 9-2-32-0, T Wiseman 6-1-33-1, P Abbs 4-1-16-0, D Yarham 13-4-19-2, A Johnson 13-2-22-1, M Reynolds 5-0-18-2.

• Brooke's Norfolk Alliance Division One game against Swardeston A was cancelled due to the weather.

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