Overseas player Chad Bowes hit a well composed innings of 71 not out as Fakenham won a tense, low scoring Dipple & Conway Opticians Norfolk Alliance Premier Division game by one wicket.
Conditions at Highfield Lawn weren’t conducive to a run feast with dull murky weather overhead. The pitch was damp and the outfield wet after 46mm of rain falling earlier in the week.
Cromer won the toss and decided to bat, not an easy decision for skipper Michael Warnes to make. The ball was moving around making it difficult for the batsmen to score runs and survive and after 10 overs Cromer were 10 for 2 with opener David Turner and Rob Purton both out, soon followed by Tatenda Chiradza.
Opener Matthew Warnes was joined by Tom Davies but was soon gone with good bowling from Lloyd Marshall. Simon Chipperfield was next in and he and Davies progressed the score to 109 in a partnership of 61, and then Chipperfield was out.
The remainder of the Cromer batsmen offered little resistance, leaving Davies high and dry on 40 and Cromer were all out for 129 in 40.3 overs, 31 of those runs being extras.
Marshall bowled with good pace and aggression for his 4 for 17 off 9 overs and was well supported by Bowes, 2 for 13 off 7.3 overs.
Fakenham needed to bat with caution, having 59 overs in which to achieve their target. Bowes and Paul Dunger opened the innings and took the score to 55 with relative ease before Dunger was out LBW to Chiradza for 17.
At this stage Fakenham looked in control with Bowes batting with restraint and composure. Keegan Monahan-Fairlie was caught behind, the first of the excellent Chiradza’s hat-trick victims with Tommo Yarham and Will Dunger being the other two.
Marshall soon followed, leaving Fakenham at 58 for 5. Joe Bane-Young started tentatively but was determined to support Bowes and they gradually built a partnership of 58, taking the score to 116 before Bane-Young was out for 13.
With just 14 runs required this should have been a formality. Cromer seized their opportunity, bringing Chiradza (6 for 25) and opener Anthony Robinson back into the attack. They reduced Fakenham to 127 for 9 with three runs still required but Fakenham edged over the line with a four from Toby Hood in the 41st over.
Cookes of Fakenham’s man of the match was Bane-Young for his part in a match winning partnership with Bowes.
Brooke beat Fakenham 2nds by 7 wkts
Brooke won the toss and asked Fakenham to bat and they reached 189 for 8 in their 45 overs with Harrison Futter making 52. He was well supported by Oscar Campbell 21, Emily Woodhouse 17.
Brooke achieved their target in the 30th over.
Fakenham 3rds beat
Gooderstone 2nd by 8 wkts
Gooderstone won the toss and batted first reaching 225 all out in the 45th over, with S Roe and Will Rust both making 55. Fakenham chased these runs down with three balls to spare with Bruce Bushell not out for 80. He was well supported by Michael Spinks 53 and Ben Ashford 48 which gave Fakenham another fine win.
Bob Carter NACO Cup Quarter-Final
A convincing 30 run victory for Fakenham over Vauxhall Mallards was a perfect conclusion to a good weekend for the club.
Mallards won the toss and asked Fakenham to bat. Fakenham innings was built round a fine partnership of 156 between Chad Bowes and Keegan Monahan-Fairlie 67. Bowes was also well supported by Harrison Futter 45 and was out in the 40th over for a fine 114, Fakenham reaching 281 for 8 in their 50 overs.
Mallards started well with Troy Allen 32 and Mitchel Todd 38, plus Devon Conway a patient 56, Alistair Shearer 37 and John Ewart 30. The Fakenham bowlers stuck to their task well and were backed up with high energy ground fielding and Mallards finished 250 for 9 giving Fakenham a pleasing morale-boosting victory.