Downham Market centurion Kelly wins clash of derby overseas players

Downham's overseas player Nick Kelly, the New Zealander top scored for Downham in their losing draw to leaders Fakenham.
Downham's overseas player Nick Kelly, the New Zealander top scored for Downham in their losing draw to leaders Fakenham.
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Dipple and Conway Norfolk Alliance Premier Division

Fakenham (18 points) 270 for 4 drew with Downham Town 220 for 8 (7 pts)

Downham travelled to league leaders Fakenham and came away with a creditable draw.

Fakenham won the toss and chose to bat first on a well used pitch.

South African Chad Bowes maintained his current good form and set about Town’s seamers in the early overs. The score raced to 50 with Bowes scoring 45 of them.

Town rotated the seamers but never slowed the run scoring so turned to spin. Bowes’ opening partner Findlay was now beginning to score runs too and things looked ominous for Town.

Chris Sharp initially slowed the rate and then bowled Bowes for an excellent 97 closely followed by Findlay (48) stumped by Tom Tansley as Sharp, Nick Kelly and Addam Todd all bowled well through the middle overs.

But Fakenham batted out the remaining overs without further loss as Town away. The last five overs brought 60 runs to see Fakenham close on 270 for 4. Sharp was the only wicket taker with 3-53.

Town’s innings started brightly, but Tansley’s run out in the seventh over signalled a break in the runs as Pat Yates was trapped LBW in the next over.

Ian Harrison was then joined by Kelly to rebuild the innings. Kelly was severe on anything loose as Town set about chasing down the big score.

The loss of Harrison closely followed by Todd and Alex Vincent put a brake on things for a number of overs as Chris Sharp and Kelly got through to drinks with the score on 84. Kelly returned to his hard hitting ways after drinks as Sharp rotated the strike and Town began to move the scoreboard along.

Whilst 270 seemed a long way off, with Kelly at the crease anything was possible.

Kelly went past his 100, his third in the league with a hard hit four as Town entered the last 10 overs still needing 106 more runs for victory.

Bowes returned to the attack and stemmed the flow for the next few overs and victory was now an impossible target for Town.

Sharp was adjudged LBW for a hard fought 28 as Kelly continued to hammer boundaries. Kelly was eventually dismissed for a brilliant 144 and Town closed on 220-8, earning seven points.

Town now sit fifth in the league with four games remaining. Third placed Brooke are the visitors to the Memorial Field next weekend.

CGM Group Man of the Match: Nick Kelly.