Cromer quit competition in protest

Biss Rose Bowl semi-final: Fakenham 227-6, Cromer 118-4 (no result)Cromer players were reflecting on a superb and convincing victory at EAPL outfit Fakenham and were looking forward to a cup final.

Biss Rose Bowl semi-final: Fakenham 227-6, Cromer 118-4 (no result)

Cromer players were reflecting on a superb and convincing victory at EAPL outfit Fakenham and were looking forward to a cup final.

But when the result was made void, in protest the club withdrew from the competition.

Monday morning phone calls between cup organisers and Cromer CC officials ended with the organisers saying that the result could not stand and the match had to be replayed. The reason was that the semi-finals and final of the competition cannot be decided on run rate.

This after the two umpires and both skippers were in complete agreement to resume and conclude the match by this method.

Cromer felt a complete injustice had been done. They won the game in the conditions that had been set out to them and felt very disappointed with the organisers that the result could not stand. Tom Davies, his players and officials are together in the decision that has been made by the club to withdraw.

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As a result Cromer did not replay the game on Sunday. Although the scores from the game are irrelevant, Cromer feel they represent a fantastic display by their side.

Fakenham won the toss and batted first. Some tight bowling with Arendse and Warnes restricted them to mainly quick singles, and after 10 overs Fakenham were 33-1. Smith and Dunger stayed together for 18 overs but James Craske and Dean Elliott maintained the standard of bowling and the run rate was less than four per over.

Elliott got opener Dunger for 30. Smith and Cooper put on 67 in 13 overs, upping the run rate. Smith had moved beyond his half-century when Charlie Webster got him for 82 with Fakenham 200-4.

Some excellent bowling at the death from Webster, John Battrick and Adrian Buck limited Fakenham to 227-6. Superb bowling from all seven bowlers forced the batsmen to score most of their runs in singles.

Captain Tom Davies was confident his side could chase down the target of 228.

Professional Rayno Arendse made a rapid start, scoring 52 off 34 deliveries with an excellent display of strokes finding the boundaries all around the ground.

Cromer were 70-1 from just nine overs. At this rate they would have reached their target with about 20 overs to spare, but the heavens opened and play was suspended.

Play resumed at 7pm but with a reduced target. A minimum of 20 overs had to be bowled to constitute a game and play was going to conclude at 7.45pm.

Cromer needed to be above Fakenham's run rate which was just over 4.5 per over. A total of 23 overs were bowled in the Cromer innings, which meant they needed to be on at least 105 from these overs.

Cromer comfortably made it beyond 105 and finished 118-4.

Arendse was dismissed the first ball he faced after the rain break. David Turner and Michael Warnes started Cromer towards victory with good innings of 19 each.

Although the Cromer skipper will not be able to take his young side to play in the final, he can be very pleased with their display with both bat and ball. Turner and Battrick came into the first XI side and played superbly, showing that Cromer CC has great strength in depth.

Club chairman John Graveling said: “As far as we are concerned, we stand by the umpires' decision over the result. We were taken aback to learn the next day that the game had to be replayed. We just feel sad about it. We had to phone around the players on Monday and nobody was keen to replay the game, so we made this decision.

“We came away from the game thinking we had made the final and everyone is so disappointed.

“We have no gripes with Fakenham or the umpires, we just feel the Biss committee should stand by the umpires' decision on the day.”

Competition organiser Paul Ingram said: “There was confusion, so we sought a report from the umpires and from the two teams and it was felt that the decision to award Cromer a victory was not correct.

“The decision was taken to advise both sides they would have to replay and Cromer opted to concede. There was a misinterpretation of the rules and they were not properly applied.”

Fakenham chairman Martin Turner said: “We're very disappointed it had to happen this way. The most disturbing thing was that nobody, including the umpires, knew the rules until I phoned the result in and was told that semi-finals and the final cannot be decided on run rate.

“No-one is jumping with joy here at reaching the final, it almost leaves a bitter taste.”