Aldborough CC keep survival hopes alive with victory
Aldborough travelled to Brooke A for their final league game of the season and had a day to remember in the 30C heat.
A fantastic all round team performance, spearheaded by a fine captain's performance, meant they came away with a deserved victory to keep alive their hopes of avoiding relegation from Division Five of the Frankly Digital Norfolk Alliance.
Put in to bat, the ever improving opening partnership of Siddall (23) and Robinson (20) got Aldborough off to a solid start, putting on 38 for the first wicket before Robinson was caught at cover. This brought Cramp (39) to the crease who enjoyed the ball coming on to the bat and picked off anything over-pitched or off-line.
At 61-1 after 15 overs, Brooke A switched to spin at both ends in an attempt to stem the run flow and make in-roads into the batting line-up. Siddall fell to a nick to slip to leave Aldborough 74-2, bringing Youngman (17) to the crease.
After being dropped early on he composed himself and was supported Cramp who was scoring freely at the other end. Cramp caused his own downfall a few overs later with a rush of blood to be out stumped, leaving Aldborough at 97-3 after 25 overs. Youngman fell a few overs later with an edge to slip, to leave Aldborough at 109-4.
So often this season Aldborough have wilted from four down with a rush of wickets, but it was not to be on Saturday, with Nicholson (4) supporting Holroyd (36) as they quietly batted 10 overs together for 24 runs to keep wickets in hand for the final push. Holroyd looked very composed and after Nicholson was trapped leg before wicket, guided the lower order of Smith (1) and Board (13) to 164-7 before being stumped himself. He struck an important knock for the team, which included a glorious six over mid-wicket.
With two overs remaining, Moakes (8 not out) and Phillips (1) ran quickly between the wickets and put the Brooke fielders under pressure, before the latter was out leg before wicket. Fisher (2 not out) joined Moakes at the crease and together they saw Aldborough up to 171-9 from their 46 overs.
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With the wicket playing well and a rapid outfield, Aldborough knew they would need to bowl well to give themselves a chance of victory. Moakes (7-2-17-1) struggled with his opening spell, but an early change put Aldborough back in control and dry the run rate up. Smith (11-4-23-1) and Board (11.1-3-27-2) bowled fantastically well together, beating the outside edge on countless occasions, bowling seven maidens between them and picking up two wickets to leave Brooke A on 58-2 after 23 overs.
The change to spin proved the turning point of the match however as Cramp (8-3-14-5) picked up three wickets in his second over, including two in two balls, to leave Brooke A reeling at 63-5. Bowling with good flight and rhythm, he followed this up soon after with two more wickets to claim a match-winning five wicket haul and put Aldborough in with a great chance of victory. Holroyd (7-0-26-1) kept it tight at the other end and picked up the important wicket of the opener van Zanten, with a good catch from Fisher at slip.
With Brooke A eight wickets down, the remaining batsmen dug in to try and secure the draw. With eight overs remaining, Aldborough returned to Board and Moakes to try and break the deadlock.
Moakes picked up the ninth wicket with a good slower ball that was chipped up to Phillips running back at mid-on.
Board then sealed the victory for the Greens in the penultimate over of the innings with Robinson choosing the right moment to take his first catch of the season behind the stumps.
Aldborough have now given themselves the best chance possible of avoiding relegation. They sit 15 points ahead of Bradenham A, but will need to await the result of Bradenham A's final game at home to Mattishall A on Saturday to know whether they have secured safety or not.
Black Boys Man of the Match was Mike Cramp.
The winning run continued when Aldborough Sunday XI entertained Swanton Morley on the Green the following day.
Batting first, Aldborough set an insurmountable 273-4 from their 40 overs. A maiden century from new recruit Jack Wells (100 not out) was the highlight of the innings, showing aggressive intent from ball one and dispatching the Swanton Morley bowlers to all sides of the ground. Youngman (57 not out) continued his fine form with the bat this season with a supporting cameo.
In reply, Swanton Morley were bowled out for 133, with the wickets shared amongst the bowlers. Taylor (10-2-25-2), Moakes (10-6-14-1), Cook (5-0-20-0), Biss (7-0-35-2) and Mears (4-0-16-1) were all rewarded for their efforts.
Black Boys Man of the Match: Jack Wells