On Saturday Fakenham 1st team, in the defence of their Norfolk Alliance Premier Division crown, continued from where they left off last season, despite being run far closer than the score would suggest at Diss.
With strong winds and rain in the air the game was reduced to 40 overs per side.
Having been asked to bat Fakenham were immediately on the back foot, faltering to 17-2 and then 50 for 5 as Harry Bammant(9), John Ewart(5), Ben Harvey(3), Luke Easwell (7) and Richard Ewart (3) all came and went without overly exerting the scorers.
At 50-5 a serious rebuilding job was required. Will Dunger and Billy Buckingham duly obliged, both were patient and happy to creep slowly towards the 100 mark before they unleashed their full array of strokes. Dunger was more brutal in his clearing of the boundaries and pavilion whilst Buckingham relied on timing and deftness of touch to make his way to 47 before being bowled. Dunger, however, cruised to 65 off 68balls before playing on to his stumps. Fakenham were at this stage 160-7 and in danger of possibly posting a decent total, which with some lusty hitting from Lloyd Marshall (16 off 10) ensured they did and the 40 over innings closed on 181-7.
As per last season, Marshall and Caswell opened the bowling and were charged with getting early breakthroughs whilest at the same time maintaining tight control. Caswell did just that, his opening spell of 3-13 off 8 reduced Diss to 20-3 while Marshall’s 0-23 off 8 was equally important especially into the very strong wind. At this stage Fakenham were favourites, but with Tooke and overseas player Swallow at the crease, Diss were still in with a chance. They soon became clear favourites as the score moved to 120-3 leaving them requiring only 6 an over from the remaining overs.
It was time for Dunger to star again, this time with the ball after a 7 year absence from regular bowling! Caswell inflicted the run out of Tooke before Dunger blasted away to finish withC4-33 including the prize scalp of Jebb Swallow. Captain David Coyle, sensing victory, brought himself back in to the attack to pick up a couple of cheap wickets 2-20 and eventually get his side home by 35 runs and collect 23 points from a game that looked to be slipping away on more than one occasion.
The win leaves Fakenham in second place in the Division, just a couple of points adrift of leaders Downham.
Next Saturdays game is at home against Dereham, start at 12:00 and promises to be interesting.
Last weeks second team game against Hethersett and Tas Valley 2nd in a game reduced to 25 overs, saw an excellent 8 wicket win for the team to get their season off to a good start with Harrison Futter putting in an excellent unbeaten 73 out of Fakenham’s 116-2 and better Hethersett’s 113-8. The win puts them to second in their division as well and on Saturday they are away at Winterton.
Saturday also saw a 3rd team in action from Fakenham, the first for a while, in a Norfolk League 4w match against Bircham 2nd’s in another weather shortened match, this one of 20 overs. Fakenham scored 58-6 off their 20 only to have Bircham score 59-1 off only 9.5 overs. Next Saturday they are away at Denver with a 1:00pm start.