Mark Thomas has lead role for Swardeston


A devastating spell from Swardeston skipper Mark Thomas paved the way for a four-wicket win at Vauxhall Mallards in Saturday’s top two showdown.

Thomas claimed six wickets as Mallards were reduced from 123 for two to 187 all out, before Norfolk wicketkeeper Stephen Gray hit 86 to steer Swardeston towards victory.

Mallards opted to bat first and after an early rain break, openers Carl Amos and David Turner provided a solid platform with a stand of 61.

Thomas made the breakthrough by having Amos caught behind for 37 and Turner was then trapped lbw by George Walker for 31.

Matthew Plater and Christiaan Schoemann appeared to be steering Mallards towards a competitive total, but when Plater was bowled by Thomas for 23, Swardeston began to exert control over proceedings.

Schoemann apart, none of the other Mallards batsmen reached double figures with Thomas’ next three victims all given out lbw.

Michael Eccles claimed two late wickets and although last man Martin Addison provided some support for Schoemann, the South African was the last man out, dismissed by Thomas for 62 from 71 balls, including 10 fours and a six.

Thomas finished with figures of six for 51 as Mallards were all out in the 56th over.

The Swardeston reply started badly as New Zealander Michael Parlane became the fifth of eight lbw victims on the day without a run on the board.

Jordan Taylor (29) and Gray added 67 for the second wicket, while the Swardeston middle order did just enough to support the efforts of Gray. The wicketkeeper was fifth man out with 34 still needed, having faced 124 balls and hit nine fours and four sixes.

Jeremy Elliott fell with eight runs still needed, but Swardeston wrapped up their win in the 51st over to move 26 points clear at the top.

The 2nd XI limped over the line against Mattishall, winning by one wicket on the Common.

Mattishall were bowled out for 143 having been 58 for 7 at one stage, with Steven Cadge and Uzzal Hossain both taking 3 wickets.

In reply, Callum Taylor hit 53 as the hosts edged to victory.

Rory Olpin took five for 21 as the 3rd XI stayed top of Division Two with a five-wicket triumph over Fakenham A. David Horrex was also at his economical best, bowling 12 overs for just 13 runs.

Swardeston-CEYMS rounded the day off on which all four sides registered wins by completing victory over Mattishall A.

Having lost the toss and being asked to bat, Swardeston-CEYMS set 172-9 from their 46 overs – Michael Austin top scoring with 43.

In reply, wickets were shared between the bowlers as Mattishall were bowled out in the 46th over, 29 runs short.


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