Battling draw for Aldborough CC

Aldborough got their Alliance campaign under way with a nail-biting draw against Mattishall A.

Electing to bat first on a very good looking pitch, Mattishall got off to a good start, putting on 112 for the first wicket, as the Aldborough bowlers struggled controlling the new ball in the strong winds. But as the winds settled and Aldborough took pace off the ball, wickets began to fall.

Mike Cramp (4-49) got the breakthrough wicket of Weetman (33) and this was followed shortly after with a wicket from his bowling partner Ray Smith (1-39) to leave Mattishall 139-2 from 30 overs. With Cramp and Smith bowling well in tandem, a further four wickets fell during the next 10 overs, including the key wicket of Clifford (81).

With the slow bowlers bowled out, Aldorough returned to Michael Board (3-30), who picked up three wickets in 11 balls of his returning spell, along with Mark Holroyd (1-3), to wrap up the innings and bowl Mattishall out for 184 in 43.5 overs. This was a great fightback from the Greens, who at 112-0 were staring down the barrel.

With two extra overs to play with, Aldborough needed just under four per over to secure victory. Mattishall immediately defended the boundaries and a steady start ensued with Aldborough reaching 39-2 from the first 20 overs. Andy Sidall (33) was the best of the opening batsmen before a mix-up saw him sadly run out.

The innings needed a catalyst and this came in the form of a fourth wicket partnership of 68 in 10 overs between Alex Youngman (50) and Jamie Perry-Warnes (49), which took Aldborough to 138-4 after 40 overs, requiring 47 from the final 10 overs.

With the pendulum having begun to swing in Aldborough's favour, the introduction of off-spin from Beaumont (5-45) ensured a close finish. Picking up both wickets of Youngman and Perry-Warnes, he took a further three wickets as the Aldborough lower order sought to find the boundary. A run out of debutant Anthony Butterworth added to the tension as the ninth wicket fell with 170 on the board. Ray Smith and Joe Phillips sensibly batted out the final 10 balls to ensure a 90pc+ draw for Aldborough, in a close encounter throughout.

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On Saturday Aldborough host Thetford A on Aldborough Green in the first Norfolk Cricket Alliance fixture to be played at their home ground since winning promotion to the Norfolk Cricket Alliance in 2009.

During the week, Aldborough travelled to Salle for a midweek friendly of 16 overs per side against old friends Nocturnes.

Nocturnes posted 116-6 with Foulds (51 not out) top scoring. Rob Mitchell (2-34), Jamie Perry-Warnes (1-14) and Troy Allan (2-13) were the wicket takers for the Greens.

Aldborough got off to a flier with Ben Plumb hitting 15 off eight balls. A couple of quick wickets fell shortly after to give Nocturnes a chance of victory but a solid middle order partnership between Jamie Perry-Warnes (40) and Nathan Taylor (29 not out) took their side within touching distance of victory. The win was wrapped up with an over to spare.