Calypso cricketer Auldwynne Lindsay celebrated his 52nd birthday with a sparkling unbeaten half-century as rock bottom Hales & Loddon upset the formbook to stun Norfolk Alliance Division Five promotion-chasers Mattishall.
The Tobagan recruit posted his first fifty for the club, unleashing 10 boundaries in his 57 not out as H&L reached their 255 victory target with seven balls to spare. Crucially, the hosts had been bowled out for 254 in the 41st of their scheduled 46 overs. Hales inherited the unused overs, leaving them 51 overs to achieve their goal – a required run rate of around five an over. Although the tempo ebbed and flowed, H&L remained firmly in the hunt throughout with several key contributions all the way down the order.
Pinch-hitting opener Isaac Rolph set the tone with a quickfire 47, veteran Milton Lindsay contributed a solid 21 and Andy Baker picked up the baton in the middle order with an enterprising 44 before perishing caught in the deep. It was left to Auldwynne Lindsay to steer the side home, aided by brief cameos from Matthew Plummer (8) and Martin Wells, whose unbeaten 13 was a particularly nasty sting in the tail for the hosts, featuring a towering six over the pavilion at mid-wicket. The grandstand finish saw 32 runs added in the final 17 balls.
Mattishall’s batsmen had looked on course for a huge total as Aaron Garner (72) and Danny Weber (66) peppered the boundary, seemingly at will. The hard-hitting Weber smashed seven fours and three sixes in his 66 before Rolph found the perfect delivery to curtail the carnage. Suddenly runs seemed harder to come by on a belter of a batting track and good bowling and fielding saw H&L battle their way back into contention to restrict the hosts to 254.
Five catches were taken during the innings, the pick a blistering effort by Milton Lindsay at first slip to remove dangerman Mark Stokes for 18, off the bowling of Rolph. It was the teenage paceman’s first wicket of the season, and he went on to claim a morale-boosting 4 for 60 from his 12 overs. Four previous games had seen him emerge empty-handed despite bowling well. H&L’s second victory of the season was reward for their persistence and refusal to let their heads drop against the second-placed side with promotion ambitions.