Pitch-perfect century ensures first win for 1st XI

Hales & Loddon (251-7) beat Thetford A (188) by 63 runs in the second round of matches in Norfolk Alliance Division Six.

Club groundsman Jon Andrews produced a pitch-perfect century as H&L powered their way to their first win of the season.

Andrews, who joined the club from Brooke this season, was in sparkling form, stroking a stylish 121 as H&L posted a decent 251-7 total after being invited to bat by the visiting Brecklanders.

In perfect sunshine conditions Andrews made hay on a dry, placid surface producing an eye-catching knock which contained 18 fours. He arrived at the crease in the fifth over and departed in the 45th, when he was caught at mid-wicket. The 50 year-old’s first century for 19 years, only his second ever, was the perfect way to underline his arrival in his first home league game for his new club.

The veteran was well supported by Isaac Rolph, who contributed a sensibly restrained 31 before he, like his fellow opener Milton Lindsay (8), fell victim to one of the six lbw decisions given in total on the day.

After the departures of Will Yates, bowled for a golden duck, and Mark Stewart (14), the momentum was maintained by Aldwyn Lindsay (23) and skipper Josh Pitcher (15 not out). The 251 total included 33 extras. Medium-pacer James Baulch, 3-27 from eight overs, bagged the best Town bowling figures.

Needing to score at over 5.5 an over, Thetford suffered a setback in the 5th over when their opening partnership was breached by a brilliant piece of fielding from Tim Outlaw. After a sharp stop at mid-wicket he threw down the stumps from a kneeling position, sending Andrew Kerling back to the pavilion for five.

Despite seeing wickets tumbling at regular intervals around him Thetford captain Mark Fowler kept up the fight with a hard-hit 69. Will Gray produced a combative tailend 34 but the innings ended on 188 in the 43rd over.

Dean Fisher, a new signing from North Runcton, took the H&L bowling honours, showing guile to claim 4 for 42 from 7.4 overs of slow deliveries while young medium pacer Ben Turner showed maturity in a tight 2 for 28 eight-over spell.

A good all-round performance by the H&L bowling unit saw paceman Isaac Rolph and medium-pacers Mark Stewart and Josh Pitcher pick up a wicket apiece during disciplined nine-over spells at a cost of around four an over.

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