H&L First XI Secure Opening Win

New recruit Martin Wells took the man of the match honours as Hales & Loddon put their first Norfolk Alliance Division Five win of the season on the board by beating Lowestoft A by five wickets.

Ex Old Catton all-rounder Wells took 4 for 51 from 10 overs of spin and contributed an unbeaten 37 as Hales & Loddon reached their 154 victory target with over four overs to spare.

After H&L won the toss, young captain Josh Pitcher invited the visitors to bat. It looked a decent decision as good bowling and fielding restricted Lowestoft to a modest 153-6 total. Opening bowler Isaac Rolph, who played at Cromer the previous week despite suffering the after-effects of a food poisoning episode involving chicken and a hospital visit, showed that he was back to his fiery best in an excellent 12-over spell which cost only 14 runs.

The new tandem spin attack of Neil Pearson and Wells really tipped the odds in H&L’s favour. Former paceman Pearson revelled in his reincarnation conceding just 23 runs in his 12 overs of the subtle genre while Wells also bowled with guile to claim 4 for 51 from his 12 overs. They were backed up by some good fielding and an excellent debut wicket-keeping stint from Tim Outlaw. Despite never having donned the gloves before, he produced a commendable effort topped off with an excellent instinctive leg-side catch off the bowling of Wells to remove Lowestoft dangerman V Ravel for 43. Vastly-experienced veteran Lawrence de Coteau was the other chief contributor to the Lowestoft total with an unbeaten 37.

Hales took a measured approach to their batting reply as veteran left-hander Milton Lindsay weighed in with a sensibly-paced 23 to get the ball rolling. His namesake Auldwynne Lindsay kept up the good work with 26 before the spin twins Wells (37no) and Pearson (31no) took centre stage with an unbroken sixth-wicket stand, opening their shoulders to take Hales comfortably past the winning post in the 42nd over.

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