Hales and Loddon (209-9) beat Bradfield A (92) by 117 runs in Norfolk Alliance Division Six.
Mark Stewart performed a stunning seven-wicket demolition job as Hales and Loddon bounced back to winning ways. Stewart posted personal best figures of 7 for 24 from nine overs as Bradfield A’s attempts to reach a 210 victory target were blitzed inside 23 overs. With his ability to move the ball both ways medium-pacer Stewart was at times unplayable, clean bowling five victims and seeing the other two caught behind.
After an extended tea interval because of rain, Bradfield had set about their run chase with purpose and were well ahead of the asking rate in the early stages. They had scored 39 off seven overs when Stewart struck by clean bowling big-hitting opener Carl Wiseman with a nip-back ball for 27. H&L quickly established the upper hand, as Stewart worked his way through the order. The only other player to record double figures was Norfolk Women’s talented teenage starlet Lauren Hemp, who had reached 15 when, trying to hook a Stewart bouncer, she was caught behind by Cook.
The innings was eventually ended in the 22nd over as H&L recorded a 117 run win – the perfect response to the previous week’s woeful eight-wicket capitulation at Diss. Bradfield had suffered a significant blow in the second over of the match when captain and leading batsman Steve Bidwell suffered a badly bruised eye while fielding at point after attempting to stop a square cut from Cook. After a spell on the sidelines he returned to to play a bit-part role as he handed over the captaincy reins and dropped himself down the order with severely impaired vision.
After being put into bat H&L had performed well to post a 208 score, with several notable contributions all the way down the order. After openers Milton Lindsay (12) and Cook (18) put on 27 for the first wicket, calypso cricketer Auldwyn Lindsay mixed discretion with his natural attacking instincts in a sensibly-compiled 29 before miscuing a delivery and being caught at mid-wicket by Hemp off Jacob Wiseman. The middle order momentum was maintained as Jon Andrews weighed in with 24 while Mark Stewart dominated from the outset, stylishly unfurling seven fours, before falling victim to a delivery from Micky Reynolds on 49. Under brooding skies Dean Fisher took the total past 200 with a solid unbeaten 21. There were 38 extras.
Reynolds (9 overs 3 for 36) and Tom Coe (9 overs 3 for 19) were Bradfield’s most successful bowlers while Hemp sent down seven tidy overs for 21 runs.