Foxton held to frustrating stalemate

Tucker Gardner Premier Div 1

Foxton 202 (47.1 overs)

Sawston 150-6 (48)

Match drawn

FOXTON’S eagerly-awaited top-of-the-table clash away at second-placed Sawston was somewhat of an anti-climax as the match petered out to a tame draw.

Winning the toss for the first time this season visiting skipper Gareth Roots decided to bat against the hosts who opened their attack with the Smith brothers, Steven and Marc, and the latter had early success bowling Roots with the fourth ball of his first over.

Lawrence Farnum then joined Sharne Grant and they proceeded to bat solidly in a second wicket stand of 66. The former, when looking set, was surprisingly bowled for 34 by the spin of Vaughn Blanchard and Foxton were on 73-2 after 16 overs.

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With the score approaching three figures Adam Webster then received a delivery from Aaron Pledger in his fifth over that kept extremely low and was bowled for 17, and further successes followed for him as he then bowled opener Grant for a sensibly played 45 and Tom Dann with a fine yorker to leave the innings in the balance at 115-5 after 27 overs.

The consistent Chris Pepper then produced his best knock of the season so far and was well backed up by useful contributions from Max Bowen (10), Andrew Kealy (14) and Tom Stone with 26. Pepper was then the eighth wicket to fall, caught behind by Matthew Ellis from the slow bowling of Adam Dellar, but his stylish 41 had enabled Foxton to reach 189-8 before Dellar wrapped up the innings. Foxton felt reasonably content with their final total of 202 from 47.1 overs.

Sam Powell and Liam Flynn opened for Sawston after tea facing Kealy and Tyler Deas and after 11 overs had made steady progress to ease their side to 39. Flynn was bowled by Kealy for 19, and the introduction of Bowen saw further success for the visitors as he then had Powell well caught in the gulley by Kealy for 14.

Blanchard was also caught by Kealy at mid-off for 13, together with Mark Ferrari trapping Dellar lbw cheaply and after 20 overs Sawston were 65-4. Fifth and sixth wicket stands of 27 and 30 helped advance the score to 91, but the fall of Marc Pearson lbw to Stone and Jack Harvey (14) brilliantly pouched by the latter in the gulley from the bowling of Kealy, returning for his second spell, saw the hosts begin to put the shutters up with 19 overs still remaining, it was left to home skipper Adam Ellis 43 not out and Matthew Ellis helping themselves to some cheap runs to bat out time for an unexciting draw winding up 53 short of their target.

Foxton’s skipper Roots rang the bowling changes but was unable to find the breakthrough and expose the tail. Top bowlers were Bowen 2-20 and Kealy 2-30.

Next week Foxton travel to Khalsa whilst the second eleven host Saffron Walden IV.