Cromer CC beaten in league opener

Following last season's promotion campaign Cromer opened their new Norfolk Alliance Premier got underway with an away defeat at Sprowston.

The returning Warnes brothers, Matthew and Michael, made their second debuts for the club and Alex Johnson made his first appearance after joining from Bradfield over the winter.

Skipper Tom Davies won the toss and chose to bat first. Sprowston's young opening bowler Niblett struck twice in the first 10 overs to remove openers Matthew Warnes and Billy Payne. Hanby then struck a short while after to remove Davies.

Richard Charlwood and Michael Warnes offered some resistance and put on a stand of 57 before Australian Foster got Warnes caught behind for 18.

Charlwood was working his way towards his half century and did so from 93 balls. Unfortunately his innings didn't last much longer as Foster struck again to dismiss Charlwood for 58.

Cromer's tail failed to wag with none of the bottom six able to reach double figures and the visitors were all out for 150 in the 46th over.

The wickets were shared with Hanby, Niblett, Foster and Purton all grabbing two a piece.

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This meant the hosts had 54 overs to chase down 151. Anthony Robinson did strike early to remove Leverett but Purton at the other end looked like he was determined to see his side over the finishing line. Firstly with Murrell, he kept the scoreboard ticking over nicely.

Following Murrell's dismissal Purton was joined by overseas' player Foster who smashed 27, at a rate of almost a run a ball. Cromer needed a couple of quick wickets to give themselves any chance of victory and although Robinson got the dangerous Chipperfield for just one, Sprowston were well in control.

Purton then reached his fifty and his side needed just two runs an over for victory. Useful contributions from Palmer (16) and S. Hales (12no) helped see Sprowston home with 13 overs to spare.

Purton carried his bat and finished unbeaten on 65, from 112 deliveries. Robinson was the pick of the Cromer bowlers finishing with 2 for 25.

Cromer face Fakenham on Saturday in the first of back-to-back home fixtures at the Norton Warnes (1pm start).

The region's other Alliance teams, who all play at a lower level, don't start their league campaigns until May 4.