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West Norfolk Alliance side make a losing start as cricket returns

Two Norfolk Alliance cricket sides failed to get their programmes off to a winning start after a coronavirus-enforced delay.

Fakenham 1st XI lost to Cromer by 28 runs in front of the television cameras at Highfield Lawn.

ITV News Anglia covered the game as Fakenham won the toss and elected to field in this friendly.

First game of cricket since lockdown has ended at Stow... (38354740)
First game of cricket since lockdown has ended at Stow... (38354740)

After a tight wicketless spell by Luke Caswell (0-14 from five overs), Lloyd Marshall (1-57) and Archie Bradnock (2-22) made early inroads into the Cromer order, who were reduced to 65-3.

Opening batsman Tom Davies hit 71 before being trapped lbw by David Coyle (1-21) while David Turner (88) also led a recovery, but no other away player reached double figures.

Also taking wickets were Will Buckingham 1-40, and Harvey Osborne 1-12 as Cromer finished with 197-6 from their designated 40 overs.

However Fakenham crashed to 169 all out in 36.1 overs. Opening bat Buckingham made 26 and number three John Ewart contributed 20.

The middle order followed this pattern of making a start but not going on to a big score which arguably cost the home team a chance of winning the match.

Harry Bammant added 20, Marshall 11, Paul Lough top-scored with 31 and Oscar Cambell hit 18. No partnership reached more than 35.

Downham Town 1st XI began a much-delayed 2020 when also losing at a strong Wisbech Town CC outfit by 120 runs.

Downham regretted winning the toss and electing to field with two of the top four home players scoring centuries and another a fifty.

George Bruce had Wisbech Town opener Danny Haynes caught cheaply for two, but Sam Albutt steadied the innings with a retired not out ton of 100 from 120 balls.

Then Cambs county players Gary Freear, with 100 off 72 balls, and captain James Williams, 55 off 31 balls, both retired not out.

The hosts posted 329-2 from 40 overs. Bruce finished with 1-31 and B Wilcox 1-48 as all the bowlers came in for punishment.

Downham replied with 209-9 from their 40 overs.

The away side’s top three F. Fairey (61 from 62 balls), F. Wilcox (11) and B. Wilcox (41 from 54) got them off to a solid start but the innings faded from 109-1 to 153-8 with no one else reaching double figures.

However, number 10 Sam Sharp hit some late blows with four fours and two sixes in an undefeated 39 to ensure the visitors batted their full quota.

Both Stow and Sandringham were among clubs to celebrate the return of cricket by being involved in inter-club games.

Sandringham CC posted on Twitter: “We’ve had our Inter club match, which has blown away some cobwebs in preparation for our first game against Long Sutton Cricket Club next weekend!”

Sandringham 2nds travel to Lincolnshire to face Long Sutton’s 2nd XI, while Stow plan to play another Alliance club this weekend.

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