Test star Brian Murphy delayed his return to Zimbabwe to help Swardeston clinch the Howes Percival Norfolk Cricket Alliance Premier Division championship.
Murphy, who had not been expected to play in Saturday’s showdown with rivals and title holders Martham, proved the key figure in a seven-wicket win. He scored 92 runs, held three catches and captured three wickets to take his season’s tally to 39.
“Brian has been a great asset to the club,” praised Swardeston all-rounder Chris Read, whose five for 60 took his own wicket haul to 32 despite missing a month of the season through work and holiday commitments.
“It hasn’t just been his own playing performances, but the way he motivates players. Everyone seems to lift their game when he’s around.” He added: “Martham are a quality side, so we’re delighted to have beaten them to the title. We’ve been in the hunt for much of the season, but it was a case of waiting and hoping they would slip up.”
Martham had conceded top spot after losing one and having a losing draw in another of their previous three matches, and vice-captain Dennis Rogers said: “We batted poorly, losing early wickets which made it very difficult to chase scores we were set, and we’ve paid the price for that.”
Rogers contributed 74 to Martham’s 179 for nine total at Swardeston Common, where Murphy spearheaded the reply with an innings which included 12 fours and a six.
Article courtesy of the Eastern Daily Press