Tough challenge but Thriplow unbeaten

THRIPLOW overcame one of their toughest games so far to keep their unbeaten run going in CCA Senior League Division Two and dispatch Cottenham by 71 runs. Thriplow won the toss and on a hot summer s afternoon put Cottenham into the field. Dickon Turner a

THRIPLOW overcame one of their toughest games so far to keep their unbeaten run going in CCA Senior League Division Two and dispatch Cottenham by 71 runs.

Thriplow won the toss and on a hot summer's afternoon put Cottenham into the field.

Dickon Turner and Martin Craze set off purposefully and, aided by a plethora of no balls from Jelley, they had pushed the score to 83 when Turner (36) swept the final ball of the 15th over high towards the square leg boundary and started to head for his drinks when White's left hand appeared from nowhere to grab a miraculous catch.

Paul Staley then joined Craze and was uncharacteristically tentative, amassing just nine singles in nine overs before playing down the wrong line to be bowled by a straight one.

Matt Ayre then arrived to show some aggression and he and Craze took the score to 180 before falling lbw to White for 33.

Craze had mixed canny singles with delightful boundaries and it was a surprise when he fell shortly after for 76 seeking to pull one from off stump and failing.

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This signalled a small collapse for Thriplow, and from a position where 300 was a target, Thriplow were 205-7 with only six overs remaining and Cottenham were back in it.

However Andy Craze calmly worked the ones, twos, fours and a six to finish on 26 not out and, ably assisted by Chris Neild (17) and Richard Lowden (10) asThriplow finished at 261-9 - a score they felt would be able to defend.

Jelly was the most successful of the bowlers but his figures of 10-0-81-5 were disappointing from a run rate perspective.

The Morris brothers for once were way off beam in their opening salvo as Evans and Talanga pushed the score onto 71 off only nine overs and Cottenham sensed a chance of victory.

However the introduction of Turner was the pivotal point. Talaga (28) having driven the pace men down the ground remorselessly looked to do the same too soon against the spin and skied to cover.

Evans then did the same a few overs later for 57 and when Tuck turned one straight to Neild at mid-wicket Cottenham were up against it.

Malcolm Gilmer (6-0-33-0) also slowed the rate and ran out Rippell and although the middle order continued to try to push the rate along Turner added two more scalps to finish with 12-2-57-5.

The pressure of chasing seven an over then became too much as Matt Ayre and Chris Neild chipped in with two victims each to leave Cottenham all out for 190.

Thriplow II made it a triumphant weekend for their club when they achieved their first victory of the campaign in a nail-biting victory over Cherry Hinton II.

Hinton won the toss and elected to bat thereby resigning Thriplow to a long hard period in the field in the swelteringly hot conditions.

Opener Taylor took a particular liking to some unusually wayward deliveries from Ali King and rapidly moved the score onto 40 before being suckered into hooking a short pitched delivery straight down the throat of the gleeful Sugden, positioned for just such an eventuality a yard in from the fine-leg boundary.

This wicket heralded a period when the bowlers were able to rein in the batsmen, and the early run-fest gave way to a period of consolidation on both sides as two wickets fell while only 13 runs were added in the next seven overs.

After Hinton captain Rapley and Wilks had both scored 50s, two runouts in as many overs from the uncharacteristically slick fielders were like hammer blows to the solar plexus of the Cherries team and they were happy to survive for the remainder of the overs, staggering to a final total of 195-9.

After losing Deed with just four on the board, Duncan Baxter (25) and fellow Australian Walters took the score to 56 in the 13th over before Baxter was dismissed.

A mini-collapse that looked like handing the result to the home team followed, and Thriplow found themselves teetering on a precipice with defeat looming and the score on 91-6 in the 23rd.

Sugden and Dabnor knew they had to dig in through the next few overs, while picking off runs whenever the opportunity arose, and they slowly wrestled the match back in Thriplow's favour.

With 30 overs gone, the batsmen had taken the score onto 121, leaving 75 required off the last 10 overs.

28 runs came from the next three overs as both batsmen opened up but shortly after a sweetly timed six, Dabnor fell for 32

Sugden was joined by Jon Collins and the pair were able to maintain the momentum and the home team's despair grew to tangible levels as they saw their anticipated victory slipping away.

Sugden (31) was dismissed at the start of the last over, attempting one quick single too many, but he had already done enough and he joined in the exuberant Thriplow celebrations when Collins (21 not out) paddled the third ball of the over for a single to win the match and pip the Cherries.

An amazing game of cricket ended with Aspenden Standon & Puckeridge beating Little Hadham with a ball to spare.

ASPS' John Yates won the toss and elected to field to see what he could limit Hadham to.

The Hadham openers got off to a lively start with South crashing a couple of boundaries off Si Lindsay.

Lindsay however got his revenge when South chipped him to Simon Groom at mid-on for a simple catch. Neil Oxborrow soon followed, holing out to Groom again at deep extra cover, this time off Mark Pankhurst, who finished with the tidy figures of 7-1-25-1.

However, this only bought the prolific Keith Wheatley to the crease, but he struggled at first against the spin of Michael Strange and the slow seam of Martin Spencer.

Miles Thompson had Mason Smith caught at square leg and Dixon fell to a smart slip catch by Yates for a duck and Hadham were tottering.

David Wheatley kept Wheatley company for a while whilst he started to take toll on a tiring Spencer.

D Wheatley fell to a long hop and Pepper, after hitting a couple of boundaries was caught and bowled.

This meant Keith Wheatley took charge in the final 10 overs and Strange and Spencer were taken to the cleaners as he finished on 138 not out and Hadham finished on an imposing 288-6 off their 45 overs.

In reply, ASP knew they had to get a decent start, and Thompson and Strange put on 128 for the first wicket in 20 overs before Strange was caught behind.

Thompson soon followed, but Adam Carruthers hit a couple of big sixes to keep the score ticking over.

Oxborrow bought himself on and quickly picked up the wicket of Carruthers for 29 before dismissing Yates for three.

Clark Baxter perished going for a big hit and ASP were in a big hole but Si Lindsay strode to the wicket and started to play a few shots, and coupled with electric running between the wickets with Groom, started to bring the run rate down.

A couple of tight overs meant that ASP needed 60 off the last four overs and 26 from the last over itself.

Groom hit the first ball for six to give ASP a sniff and then two no-balls from Pepper that went for three and five runs respectively, meant that victory was in sight.

A four from Lindsay (46 not out) and some frenzied running bought the target down to three runs from two balls. Pepper bowled the perfect ball, a leg stump yorker, which Lindsay could only dig out a yard in front of the wicket, the batsmen set off for a single but the bowler Pepper decided to kick the bal at the stumps and only succeeded in kicking the ball past his own players and away to fine leg.

Lindsay and Groom (56 not out) completed the two overthrows needed to win an astounding game with a ball to spare.