Hales and Loddon (302 for 4) lost to Bradfield A (303 for 3) by seven wickets in Norfolk Alliance Division Six.
Jack Cook powered his way to a free-flowing maiden century but still ended up on the losing side as Hales and Loddon lost a nailbiting Norfolk Alliance Division Six encounter at Bradfield on the final ball of the 45th over.
Cook carried his bat for a superb unbeaten 134, crashing 20 fours and scoring at better than a run-a-ball rate as bowlers were made to suffer on a good track and fast outfield with a short boundary on one side.
After being put into bat by the hosts H&L lost Matt Buckingham early before Cook and skipper Isaac Rolph began their assault on the bowling, Rolph departing for a typically uncompromising 25. The pace increased as Mark Stewart joined Cook at the crease and the duo brought up the 100 in the 18th over. They enjoyed a third-wicket stand of 120 which took the score to 172 before Stewart was bowled by Stephen Abbs for a fine 61 containing seven fours and a six.
After Auldwynne Lindsay was adjudged lbw to an Abbs delivery first ball, the H&L fireworks were resumed as Martin Wells joined Cook to hit a blistering 57 not out, including seven fours and a six. Their entertaining 130-run unbroken fifth wicket stand took the total to a sizeable 302-4 .
Paceman Isaac Rolph opened with fire, but two very sharp chances went down at slip in his first over and Bradfields’s openers scored freely before the game reached a controversial flashpoint when on 30 Peter Abbs survived vehement H&L appeals for a catch behind.
Matt Buckingham made the long-awaited breakthrough on 111, having Stephen Abbs caught by Stewart for 38. The fired-up Rolph managed to trap Simon Wells lbw for 49, with the total on 215. Rolph struck again to bowl Peter Abbs, who had hit 101 containing 12 fours, with the total on 236-3.
Amidst mounting tension the hosts were steered to victory by James Vann (34 not out) and Colin Smith (30 not out). With two overs left 11 were needed and Sam Ford produced an excellent over to leave eight required. Matt Buckingham also bowled superbly at the death, but agonisingly saw his penultimate ball Chinese cut for four, before a scrambled single saw Bradfield snatch a dramatic win. Their 303-3 total was boosted by 52 extras including 29 wides and six no balls.
Musker Mcintyre H&L man of the match: Jack Cook