High five for Ellingham

ON an overcast blustery day Great Ellingham beat Saxlingham by five wickets in a bizarre but exciting match which regularly swung from one side to the other.

ON an overcast blustery day Great Ellingham beat Saxlingham by five wickets in a bizarre but exciting match which regularly swung from one side to the other.

Returning skipper Richard Smith won the toss and decided to bowl first knowing he had the luxury of a rare full strength bowling attack.

Ellingham got off to their normal solid start from the reliable openers of Standley (2-29) and Ledeboer (0-13). This continued until the younger of the two bowlers had to be helped off the pitch with an unfortunate knee injury. The first wicket fell to Standley due to a good sharp catch by the debutant Kevin Dumble.

An excellent third wicket partnership of 131 from the Saxlingham batsmen J Phillips (54) and the impressive D Adams (116) then appeared to put Saxlingham in charge of the game.

Credit must go to Adams who hit some bludgering straight drives and other powerful strokes all round the ground. Also included in this innings was a belligerent 23 runs off a single over bowled by skipper R Smith (1-52).

Phillips was eventually dismissed by Smith with the score on 163 but with still 10 overs to go an imposing target was looking more than likely.

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Following some further mighty blows Adams was eventually out in the 38th over for an excellent 116. However the introduction of C Drew (3-6) and a change to spin bowling for R Dodd (3-58) had started to stem the flow of runs.

This gave Ellingham the glimmer of hope they were after as the last seven Saxlingham batsmen had all failed to score a single run between them.

Ellingham, for the second week running, will be disappointed with their overall fielding display especially the number of dropped catches. Saxlingham eventually finished their innings on a competitive but chaseable 210-9.

Ellingham's innings started off badly with the loss of stand-in opener Adrian Dumble for a duck. However, a superb quickfire second wicket partnership of 136 between the in form Chris Drew (57) and the ever reliable Adrian Cooper (75) in just 20 overs put Ellingham back in charge of the game.

Both players played a number of excellent shots all round the ground, the power hitting of Drew and more elegant stroke making of Cooper providing great entertainment in the gloomy conditions.

Drew was eventually out to the dangerous J Phillips (2-52) with the score on 147 and with Cooper soon following him back into the pavilion a familiar Ellingham middle order collapse was possibly round the corner.

Fortunately R Kruger (28 not out) batted intelligently and put the bad ball away confidently to get Ellingham over the winning line in the 34th over.

This was also due to good running and batting from both B Glover (8) and R Dodd (7 not out) who supported Kruger well in the concluding overs.

Ellingham eventually were victorious by five wickets in an exciting yet topsy-turvy encounter.

Ellingham will now need an improved bowling and general fielding display this week as they visit the impressive league leaders Bradfield.

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