In-form Downham Kiwi Kelly sets up Fakenham clash

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Dipple & Conway Norfolk Alliance

Premier Division

Downham Town 214 for 5 (23 pts) beat Cromer 210 for 8 (6) by 5 wkts

Another century from New Zealander Nick Kelly at Cromer on Saturday but an excellent fielding display kept the visitors’ score manageable on a fast scoring day at the Norton Warnes Ground.

A much-changed Town side again won the toss and asked Cromer to bat first. A strong batting line-up was kept in check early in the innings by Ian Harrison and Sam Sharp.

The run rate was steady but with no wickets for the visitors until the lightning fast Alex Vincent ran out Warnes with the score on 52.

Joss Stuart, again bowling well, removed captain Davies with the help of a good catch by Rob King. Charlwood joined Turner and began to increase the boundary count.

Turner was bowled by Jignesh Chauhan for a steady 28 as the both sides fought hard to gain the advantage going into the last 10 overs of the innings.

Some lusty blows by Charlwood (72) and the Cromer tailenders took the score to 210 after the 50 overs but Town’s best fielding display of the season saw them relatively happy at tea.

Jignesh Chauhan and Joss Stuart both bowled good spells for the visitors whilst Nick Kelly grabbed three wickets in the final overs. Town’s out cricket was superb, led by Vincent and Pat Yates.

Tom Tansley and Ian Harrison were subjected to some hostile bowling by Robinson early in the innings but, just when it seemed they were over the worst and Harrison had hooked him for six, the quick bowler clean bowled Harrison with the score on 22.

Tansley chased a Warnes delivery and was caught at slip next over to bring in Kelly.

Kelly hit some juicy boundaries early in his innings but the loss of Pat Yates and then Jason Coe saw Town in trouble, five wickets down with less than 100 on the board.

Duncan Lanchester joined the Kiwi as the pair looked to steady the ship. Warnes was now completing his overs and with Robinson having only three overs of his spell remaining Davies turned to his back up bowlers.

Kelly and Lanchester sensed their chance and began to score quickly. The field was out for Kelly and he patiently ticked over the score, leaving Lanchester to face the majority of the bowling in the middle overs.

Kelly brought up his 50 but Town still needed 100 from the last 20 overs.

The runs then started to flow as Davies rotated his bowlers to try and make the breakthrough.

The writing now seemed on the wall for Cromer as Kelly was hammering every loose ball to the fence, but taking his wicket could easily have changed the game for the home team.

The partnership was now passed the 100 mark as Kelly’s own 100 came up with a hard hit cover drive.

The target was achieved with 10 overs remaining and the 123 partnership for the sixth wicket remained unbroken – the pair had hit the last 90 runs in under 10 overs.

Kelly finished on 122 and Lanchester 30 to bring up Town’s third win from their first four league games.

Town entertain unbeaten league leaders Fakenham at the Memorial Field on Saturday.

CGM Group Man of the Match: Nick Kelly.