Crows skipper delighted as Merrell five-fer downs Sawston to maintain winning streak

Royston CC captain Paul Harris presents Pete Merrell with the match ball after taking five wickets a

Royston CC captain Paul Harris presents Pete Merrell with the match ball after taking five wickets against Sawston - Credit: Archant

Royston captain Paul Harris was on cloud nine after Pete Merrell claimed five wickets to secure an emphatic victory over winless visitors Sawston & Babraham on Saturday.

The Crows, going into the fixture with an unbeaten league record dating back to last August, were looking to notch another victory and cement their place at the top of the table.

On a damp pitch, the visitors won the toss and invited pacesetters Royston to bat first.

The early wickets of Harris and Sam Montague-Fuller left the Crows on 40-2, however Paul Miller and Paul Leary both knuckled down in tricky conditions and began to build what would be a match-winning partnership.

Both passed their half centuries as neither looked as though they would be outdone by the other, until finally Paul Leary was dismissed for 57 off the bowling of Oliver Borley.

The score was 139-3, and this concluded an excellent 99-run partnership.

Martin Leary came and went with a couple of lusty blows as Royston looked to sneak up to what would be a strong total on a difficult wicket.

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Paul Miller, ably supported by Matt Houghton, finished off the Royston’s innings with a couple more boundaries, taking him to 68* as Royston ended on 186-4.

In reply, Sawston & Babraham never got going as the Crows put them under intense pressure right from ball one.

Royston seamer Merrell in particular was on fire and bowled what will probably be the spell of the season, ending with sublime figures of 10-7-5-5, as Sawston crumbled to 35-6.

Phil Hall, Matt Gillham and Rohan Shetge all grabbed a slice of the action as well, with wickets falling freely as Sawston were sent packing for an abysmal 46 runs all out.

Afterwards, skipper Harris said: “Despite our opponents currently sitting bottom of the table, we approached the game with a great attitude and never let the intensity drop for a moment, particularly in the second innings.

“Special mention must go to Pete Merrell who bowled a fantastic spell and thoroughly deserved those outstanding figures.”

With Wilbrahams losing to Madingley, Royston are now out in front at the top of the table outright, having won all five of their games.

This Saturday Royston play host to Wilbrahams in what promises to be a big game for both sides.