LEADERS HAPPISBURGH REMAIN UNBEATEN
Happisburgh came and left Southtown Common with their unbeaten record intact and still top of the league after a resounding victory by 67 runs.
Belton skipper Ali won the toss and elected to bowl first on a baking afternoon at The Common.
There wasn’t much to separate the teams in the early stages with the Happisburgh opening duo of Woolston and Allen not getting away, but also not being troubled too much by Ali and Nichols either.
Allen shifted the early momentum when he punched Ali long over mid-on for maximum. Woolston brought up the fifty partnership with a flick off his pads off Nichols before the introduction of Rehman dismissed both openers in quick succession.
Firstly, Allen got a thin inside edge to be strangled down the leg-side by ‘keeper Savoury for 17 before Woolston could only fend a short delivery to the other Savoury at short cover for 27.
Belton sensed an opportunity to build some pressure but couldn’t capitalise when Papworth was put down at the wicket again off the bowling of Rehman. Papworth then drove Savoury straight down the ground for four and then six to rub salt into the wounds whilst Breeze managed a couple of streaky boundaries to get himself moving.
Breeze brought up the fifty partnership with a six over extra cover before giving Khan the same treatment. Belton needed a moment of magic – and that magic was provided by Comer. Breeze was sent back at the non-strikers end by Papworth with Comer collecting the ball and knocking down the one stump on offer to send Breeze packing for 47.
New batsman Sturgess survived a huge leg-before appeal off Ali when on nought but he did depart soon after when he could only top-edge the same bowler with Khan taking the catch at square-leg.
Papworth hit a brace of boundaries to pass a half-century of his own before his fine innings was ended when he was adjudged leg-before off the bowling of Ali for 52. Papworth’s dismissal meant that Happisburgh were 174-5 with 8 overs remaining, with Belton looking for the key wicket of Catchpole to restrict their visitors.
However, Catchpole had other ideas in an innings that despatched the bowlers to all parts, with four four’s and three sixes in his innings of 58 in vital 6th wicket stand of 76 with Underwood in just seven overs. Catchpole’s innings was ended in the final over when he missed a straight delivery from Savoury. The damage had been done with Happisburgh finishing on 255-6 from their 45 overs.
Belton had to get off to a decent start with the required run rate at just under a run-a-ball. Goreham and Savoury were up to the task in the early overs – Goreham driving Woolston delightfully through the covers before Savoury punched Curtis through point to the fence. With Goreham in fine form it would take something special to dismiss him and Warnes almost provided it when he leapt to his right at mid-on with the ball destined for the boundary but couldn’t quite hang on to a stunning catch.
Belton did lose their first-wicket in the following over though when Savoury was bowled through the gate by an inswinging Woolston delivery for 17.
Goreham was given a life when Underwood put down a simple chance at point off the bowling of Curtis. Goreham then began to flourish with an array of punching drives straight down the ground and through the off-side, with Ali happy to play a supporting role at this stage. Goreham pulled Woolston through square-leg to bring up his third half-century in succession to take Belton to 99-1 at the drinks break.
As is so often the case, the drinks break brings a wicket and Ali’s dismissal ended the stand of 62. Ali was rightly sent back by Goreham when attempting a second-run and a bullet throw from the cover boundary from Papworth and some tidy work from Woolston saw the Belton skipper short of his ground for 18.
Belton then lost their key man Rehman in Sturgess’ fourth over when he played all around a full-toss and was bowled for just 4. Belton’s reply went from bad to worse when Goreham’s fine innings was ended on 67 when he could only find the safe hands of substitute fielder Siggins on the long-on boundary off the bowling of Allen to leave Belton with an uphill task on 113-4.
The middle-order duo of Cropley and Nichols were left with the tough ask of propelling Belton towards victory with Happisburgh beginning to take a stranglehold on proceedings. Nichols hit Allen for a maximum and Cropley swept Sturgess to the fence to ease some pressure.
Sturgess got his revenge however when Cropley could only hit a full-toss straight to Allen to depart for 20 and leave Belton 144-5.
A couple of lusty blows by Nichols took Belton up past 160 but the Belton lower-order and tail folded quickly with the last five wickets falling for just 27 runs.
Savoury could only help Sturgess into the hands of Siggins at square-leg for four before Toll was bowled by Allen without scoring. Wright was bowled by Sturgess for a golden duck before Allen brought an end to proceedings.
Khan was adjudged plumb in front for five before Comer was bowled for just one to leave Nichols stranded on 44 not out – Belton dismissed for 188, handing Happisburgh victory by 67 runs and dealing Belton a possibly fatal blow to their ambitions to become Champions.
|J.Woolston||ct G.Savoury||b Rehman||27|
|C.Allen||ct A.Savoury||b Rehman||17|
|R.Sturgess||ct Khan||b Ali||12|
|Extras:||(4b, 3lb, 4w, 9nb)||20|
|TOTAL||For 6 Wickets||after 45 overs||255|
Fall of Wickets: 1-51 (Allen), 2-58 (Woolston), 3-133 (Breeze), 4-154 (Sturgess), 5-174 (Papworth), 6-250 (Catchpole)
|W.Goreham||ct Sub (Siggins)||b Allen||67|
|C.Cropley||ct Allen||b Sturgess||20|
|G.Savoury||ct Sub (Siggins)||b Sturgess||4|
|Extras:||(5b, 2lb, 1nb)||8|
|TOTAL||All Out||after 40.5 overs||188|
Fall of Wickets: 1-36 (A.Savoury), 2-100 (Ali), 3-104 (Rehman), 4-113 (Goreham), 5-144 (Cropley), 6-160 (G.Savoury), 7-161 (Toll), 8-162 (Wright), 9-171 (Khan), 10-188 (Comer)