Cromer CC still sitting pretty despite being held
Having moved back to the top of the table after last week's victory Cromer were looking to cement their place as leaders when they played Bradenham at the Norton Warnes ground.
The visitors won the toss and put the hosts' into bat. Openers Ollie Kimber and Ben Clarke got their side off to a steady start with a stand of 44 before Clarke fell to Bates for 18.
Richard Charlwood then came to the crease and he and Kimber had a very productive stand together. The pair kept the scoreboard ticking over at a rate of approximately five runs an over, punishing any wayward deliveries. Kimber moved beyond his half century for the first time this season but was eventually be dismissed by Will Dewing for 77. This brought an end to his stand with Charlwood that was worth 110.
Charlwood was closing in on his 50 and soon moved past it. Skipper Tom Davies was now in the middle and he was part of another profitable partnership. They scored at an even quicker rate and moved their side score well past the 225 mark, securing maximum batting points, and when the partnership was broken the Cromer score was 253. Davies was the man to go for 41 after he and Charlwood had put on 99.
There were now less than four overs left and Charlwood was closing in on his century. He reached the landmark in the penultimate over and finished unbeaten on 102 as Cromer declared with one over to spare having posted an excellent total of 274 for 4.
Bradenham had 51 overs to chase down the mammoth total of 275. Opening bat Taylor took it to the Cromer attack in the early overs, finding the boundary regularly. The hosts did make a breakthrough in the 12th over when James Craske got the wicket of Stagles. In the next over Dean Elliott dismissed Campbell to cause a slight stutter to the Bradenham innings.
Sam Baxter struck shortly after to get rid of Patrick Dewing for 28 before Elliott claimed two more wickets, one being opener Taylor for 40. After making a good start and looking like they could possibly make a good attempt a chasing down the big target they were 100 for 5 from 23 overs.
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There was now only going to be one winner but that was providing Cromer were able to get the remaining five wickets. Baxter and Craske both grabbed another wicket and with 19 overs left Cromer needed just three more wickets. However they came across a very resistant pairing of Matthews and Balluza. This pair batted together for nearly 12 overs, adding 37 runs.
Captain Davies made regular changes to the attack and even introduced some part-time bowlers. One of those broke the stand when Ben Clarke bowled Matthews for 30.
With two more wickets still required from seven overs the result was far from decided. Craske did get the ninth wicket when he got Caffyn caught and bowled for 10, but the home side ended the day frustrated as the final two blocked out the final 12 deliveries to finish on 188 for 9.
James Craske and Dean Elliott both finished with three wickets each whilst Sam Baxter grabbed two.
With Cromer unable to get that final wicket it meant they came away with an 18 point winning draw as apposed to a maximum 25 points. Although this will leave them slightly disappointed they still sit nine points clear at the top of the Division One table with a game in hand, so their quest for an immediate return to the Premier Division is still well and truly in their own hands.
On Saturday Cromer travel to Dereham.