Paul Miller’s unbeaten 107 helped Royston to a 73-run victory over Cambridge NCI IIIs at Therfield on Saturday.

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The result, Royston’s second win in a row, delighted skipper for the day Martin Leary. He said: “The batsmen executed the game plan perfectly, Paul Miller and Paul Leary demonstrating the importance of partnerships in building a total.

“As ever, Paul Miller was outstanding and it was great for him to get that century after a lot of 50s and 60s of late. On the bowling front, I thought the change pairing of Pete Merrell and Connor Little was excellent – both showed impressive control and really put the game out of NCI’s reach.”

In the absence of several regular bowling options, the Crows were more than happy to be put into bat first by NCI, and opened up with Mick Miller and Paul Leary.

The home side lost Mick Miller (0) early on to a catch at first slip, and Leary was joined by brother Martin.

However, on 12, Martin Leary was trapped lbw leaving Royston on 26-2 and requiring a partnership.

The challenge was duly accepted by Paul Leary and Paul Miller.

Miller ruthlessly punished any loose deliveries and drive excellently down the ground, while Leary played a supporting role.

The Crows kicked on in the middle overs as Miller passed the 50 mark.

Leary also reached his half century before falling to Sanjeev as he looked to play a big shot on 57.

Joined by Sam Montague-Fuller (16 no) for the final few overs, Miller continued to bat superbly and reached his century in the 38th over.

Royston finished 211-3 off their 40, and Miller ended 107 no off 99 balls.

In reply, NCI lost openers Ward (7) and Guest (4) early to Max Kindred and Martin Leary respectively, and it became clear that 211 was going to be a tall order to chase.

Replacing Leary and Kindred were Pete Merrell and Connor Little and both increased the pressure on the visitors as the required rate rose rapidly and wickets tumbled.

NCI found themselves on 80-7 and with a required rate at around eight an over. Nos. 9 and 10 exploited some loose bowling towards the end as Royston, having taken off their frontline bowlers, took their foot off the pedal. However, victory had already been secured and the visitors ended their allotted 40 overs on 138-8.

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