Nail-biter as Thriplow wobble a bit

IT WAS top versus bottom in CCA Senior League Division Two whilst the result went the way of the form book there were times when this did not look like being the case as Thriplow ran out winners over Burrough Green. Put into bat, Thriplow openers Dickon T

IT WAS top versus bottom in CCA Senior League Division Two whilst the result went the way of the form book there were times when this did not look like being the case as Thriplow ran out winners over Burrough Green.

Put into bat, Thriplow openers Dickon Turner and Martin Craze weathered a testing opening spell from Lister and Relihan.

Turner (22) had just started to find his range with three fours and a six when his partner hit the ball to extra cover and felled him with a classic 'yes, no, sorry' set of calls.

Paul Staley decided that Lister's inswing was not as pronounced as he had been told and shouldered arms to his third delivery only to see it hit his off stump and at 43-2 there were the first wobbles of the day.

Duncan Walker, in a rare outing for the first team, showed Staley how it should be done. He and Craze pushed the score on comfortably to 113 when Walker, thinking he had skied one to cover, found he had not, but by then had called Craze (43) for an impossible single to leave Thriplow 113-3 with all the wickets entirely their own doing.

Andy Craze (11) replaced his brother and after a couple of gorgeous boundaries played round a straight one and when Walker (43) hit one straight back to Scruby, Thriplow were 133-5 and once again looked in trouble.

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The next rescue mission was undertaken by youngsters Chris Viner and Nathan Sugden who with only 10 overs left to create a competitive total, set about the bowling with a vengeance.

Crisp blows and excellent running took the score to 192 when both fell to Scruby in the same over, Viner for 39 and Sugden for 11.

Jez Tuck and Chris Neild then arrived with 13 balls remaining and proceeded to bludgeon 31 runs between them adding what would turn out to be vital runs to leave Thriplow 223-7.

Lister and Rees set off in pursuit, Nathan Sugden starting erratically with two wides but then surprising Rees by bowling him as he stepped across to flick it to leg.

However this brought in Phillips to play the supporting role as Lister set about the Thriplow attack.

Boundaries flowed and despite rotating the bowlers there seemed no way though.

With the field set wide the runs were there for the taking and at 127-1 in only the 23rd over Green looked favourites.

However on 75, Lister played a tired flick off Turner only to see the ball pop up in front of him and 65 year old keeper Jan Arriens leapt salmon like from behind the stumps to grab the ball inches from the turf.

With the danger man gone, the game was now back in Thriplow's favour and when skipper Neild quickly weighed in with three wickets in five balls to blow away the Green middle order, the game seemed all over.

However Phillips and Laws dug in and pushed the score to 155 before Phillips (39) pulled a Neild full toss to deep backward square where specialist fielder Staley took a comfortable catch.

Nathan Sugden returned to take the last two wickets to finish with 3-44 and Turner's 2-41 together with Neild's 4-15, saw Green all out for 174 leaving Thriplow winners by 49 runs with three overs to spare.

A vintage Carr performance saw off promotion challengers Helions Bumpstead as Thriplow II were victorious for their fourth consecutive fixture to elevate themselves from also-rans to promotion contenders.

Thriplow's captain Dabnor won the toss and had no hesitation in asking the home team to bat first on a green-looking track that promised much for an eager bowling attack.

Ali King was given the new ball and immediately began to ask questions of a traditionally aggressive Bumpstead opening pair.

Martin Dabnor joined in the fun on a seamer's wicket that proved to be too much for the batting team. Runs were virtually impossible to come by as the bowlers dominated the batsmen; bowling a tight line and watching on as the ball seamed around and caused mayhem for the hapless batters.

Such was the dominance of the opening bowlers that, at the half way stage, Bumpstead found themselves in dire straits on 24-3 off 20 overs. King's fine opening spell was rewarded with figures of 10-2-12-2 and Dabnor with 10-5-10-1.

Their performance was forced into the background however by a remarkable renaissance from Daniel Carr.

Carr has played only sporadically since his return from university but he made an immense impact upon this fixture, finishing with figures of 4.5-0-12-7 to demolish the lower order of the Bumpstead team, aided in no small measure by team-mates John Deed and Dave Osborne who clung onto catches as the home team turned to slogging as a means of extricating themselves from their predicament.

The Bumpstead innings closed on a woeful 41 all out and tea was taken at an unfamiliarly early hour.

The Thriplow innings was brief and decisive. Openers John Deed and Jon Goodacre made short-shrift of the target and seven overs later the game was all over with Thriplow victorious by 10 wickets