Cromer move to top as fine run continues

Michael Warnes was among the wickets for Cromer.

Michael Warnes was among the wickets for Cromer. - Credit: Archant

Cromer moved to the top of the Norfolk Alliance Premier Division table for the first time this season on Saturday after making it three straight wins from completed matches.

Tom Davies' side were frustrated by the weather at Diss last month – but aside from that it has been success all the way in recent weeks, with their latest victory coming at Sprowston.

Last season's runners-up Sprowston had suffered an indifferent start and found themselves at the bottom of the table, but it was by no means going to be an easy game for the North Norfolk side who themselves have been playing some excellent cricket.

Due to rain the start of play was delayed by half an hour but this would prove to be the only interruption and a full game was able to go ahead. Cromer won the toss and put the home side into bat.

Cromer started brightly with the ball and the hosts were immediately put under pressure as Michael Warnes picked up the wickets of both opening batsmen for single figures. Both Warnes and James Craske were bowling nicely and kept Sprowston to just over two runs per over. Warnes grabbed a third wicket before the end of his spell to leave the home side 34 for 3 from 15 overs.

Chris Carey came on for Warnes and the left arm bowler picked up two wickets with successive deliveries to take the score to 61 for 5 from 19 overs. The only form of resistance was coming from overseas player Leten who was moving along nicely, but wickets continued falling at the other end as Aj Johnson got in on the act and Carey got another dismissal.

The home side were looking set for a very disappointing total as from 27 overs they were 94 for 7 and the Cromer were into the tail. Leten had however reached his 50 and if someone else could hang around then they home side could still post a competitive score.

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Andy Hanby obliged and he and Leten put on 54 before the Australian fell for 77 as Michael Warnes dismissed him with the first ball of his second spell.

Still with 11 overs remaining Hanby would continue to be a thorn in Cromer's side and was helping his team close in on 200, although Carey and Warnes both grabbed one more wicket each to bring the Sprowston innings to and end having made 187. Hanby finished unbeaten on 43.

Michael Warnes finished with fantastic figures of 5 for 39 from his 13 overs whilst Chris Carey picked up 4 for 56.

The visitors now required 188 runs to win and they had 53 overs to do so. Tom Davies and Matthew Warnes once again opened up. Some tight bowling from Hanby and Pearce meant the Cromer batsmen had to be patient but they looked comfortable and having settled they began to increase the scoring rate considerable.

The partnership moved past 50 and quickly moved towards three figures. Davies reached his half century and was soon followed by Warnes. Sprowston did let Davies off on more than one occasion, grounding a couple of changes. The hosts finally brought the superb stand to a end when Roff got Davies for 72 after he and Warnes had put on 140 for the first wicket.

In the very next over Warnes was dismissed for 60 by Leten. Cromer required just 48 runs from 19 overs and Bilaal Samssodien and Richard Charlwood were the new batsmen at the crease.

The North Norfolk side were made to wait for the seemingly inevitable victory as Leten got Samsoodien before Hanby returned to dismiss Aj Johnson and Michael Warnes.

But by the time of the dismissal of Warnes the scores were now tied and the winning run came in the form of a leg bye. Charlwood would end unbeaten on 26 as his side secured 23 points with a five wicket victory. Hanby and Leten both picked up two wickets.

This was a superb all round performance from Cromer who performed brilliantly with bat and ball and in the field. With Ashmanaugh and Barton Wanderers and Old Buckenham suffering defeats Cromer moved to the top of the table and became the first side to reach 100 points.

This weekend sees a double header of first team cricket at the Norton Warnes with Downham visiting in the league on Saturday (1pm) followed by the visit of Garboldisham in the second round of the Carter Cup on Sunday (11am).

Richard Cox