Cloete stars as Cromer CC battle their way to draw

Cromer made the trip to Barton Turf looking to bounce back from the disappointing defeat last time out – but things didn't go quite to plan.

Cromer won the toss and chose to bowl first and the Wanderers' opening batsmen got their side off to a good start. Cloete and Craske were both unable to make a breakthrough and Ponder and Hopkins guided their side to 59 from the first ten overs. The pair continued to dominate despite an early change with Matthew Warnes coming into the attack. Left arm spinner Alex Johnson came into the attack from the other end and finally got his side on the board when he trapped Ponder leg before with his third delivery, after the opener had hit 43 in the opening stand of 91.

In the next over Warnes joined the party, getting the wicket of New Zealander Gareth Hopkins for 34. Warnes picked up two more wickets in quick succession, and the home side were 137 for 4 from 27 overs.

Edge now joined Tom Williams and they kept the scoreboard ticking over nicely. They took the score beyond the 200 mark before Johnson bowled Edge for 32. Williams reached his fifty from 76 balls and then his strike rate rose considerably. Everett, Hayes and Jackson all fell cheaply but this didn't stop Williams who finished unbeaten on 99 as his side made 279 for 8 from their 50 overs.

Johnson finished with best figures of 4 for 56 and Warnes also picked up 3 for 59. It certainly wasn't the kind of display captain Tom Davies was hoping for when he elected to field with a poor all round performance in the first innings from his side, which saw them concede 46 extras.

Cromer needed to make a good start if they were to have any chance of chasing down the target. Wanderers opening bowlers Hayes and Williams kept things tight and made runs hard to come by for Warnes and Payne, and Hayes dismissed Warnes for just four thanks to a superb diving catch behind the stumps from Taylor.

Payne followed back to the pavilion shortly after for 23 and then Richard Charlwood was bowled for 15 in the next over. The required run rate was rising all the time, Regis and Davies also fell cheaply and after 25 overs Cromer were 93 for 5.

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Victory at this stage was now very unlikely but it was important the remaining Cromer batsmen adopted the right attitude to ensure their side avoided an embarrassing defeat. The sixth wicket partnership between Malcolm Cloete and Johnson was the stand they needed. The pair stayed together for 13 overs and put on 74 before the partnership was broken when Hopkins got Johnson for 26.

During this time South African Cloete reached his half-century from 53 deliveries. The overseas star was looking in fine form and he along with James Craske guided their team into an excellent position that would saw them have a good chance of batting out for a losing draw.

The pair lasted 11 overs and put on 62. As the end of the innings drew nearer very few risks were taken and the runs slowed up as batting out the 50 overs was the main objective. The excellent eighth wicket stand came to an end when Jackson bowled Cloete, five short of his maiden ton. Cloete's superb knock of 95 came from 87 balls. Following his dismissal there was two overs remaining, with Wanderers requiring two more wickets. James Craske (26 not out) and Simon Wells were able to bat out these overs to secure a nine point losing draw for Cromer. This Saturday Vauxhall Mallards II are the visitors.