Alliance wins for Fakenham, Downham Stow and North Runcton

There was a clean sweep of wins for West Norfolk sides on the opening day of the new Norfolk Alliance Premier Division season.

Reigning champions Fakenham demolished Cromer by 143 runs, North Runcton recorded a five-wicket triumph at Garboldisham and Downham Stow edged out Norwich by 13 runs.

North Runcton won the toss and asked Garboldisham to bat and Ben Coote struck with his fourth ball, clean-bowling Leech for nought.

In the second over, Kirwin Christoffels then took the wicket of the other opener Collishaw for a duck.

Hart and Estlea steadied the home side albeit they both used a lot of the overs building up a total before Estlea was smartly stumped by Tansley off Jasper Payne.

Hart was eventually out for just 15, caught-and-bowled by Jack Major.

Suraj Rajesh was the pick of the home batsmen, making a quality 39 before he was leg-before-wicket off Major for 39.

Jasper Payne (3-29) and Major (3-23) both bowled very well, Coote (2-22) and Christoffels (2-28) returned to take a second wicket each as Garboldisham floundered upon to an all-out total of 161.

Dylan Amin bowled very tidily in his six overs for 13.

In reply, Christoffels put King to the sword with the first five balls making a quickfire 10 but King got

his own back with the sixth ball having the opener out leg-before-wicket and Runcton were one down.

Jasper Payne struggled with cramp and had to retire temporarily for two, while Harry Lankfer looked solid until he chased a leg-side ball around the corner and was caught for six.

Ben Coote joined Crisp and the two were looking comfortable and in command.

However, Garboldisham introduced arguably their best bowler Josh Rowe and both batsmen made ambitious shots to lose their wickets in his first and second overs and put Runcton in a non-too healthy 85-5. Michael Crisp had batted soundly making 29 off 37 balls and Ben Coote 15 off 24.

It brought together the Payne brothers of Alexander and Jasper, the latter returning after cramp and they did not look back as they chased down the home team total.

Jasper scored 28 off 60 and Alexander an unbeaten 38 off 60.

Craig Estlea took the wicket of Jasper allowing Sam Philips to stride to the wicket and score 17 off 16 balls to win the match.

Meanwhile, the first game of the season for Downham Stow ended up being a tighter than necessary affair.

After winning the toss and electing to bat, the Downham Stow batting line-up got off to a positive start.

Unfortunately, leg-before-wicket decisions against all of the top three batsmen left them on 96 for three with Freddie Fairey out on 45 off 59 after some very fluent batting.

After arriving from New Zealand this week, Liam Muggeridge came to the crease and scored a busy 40 before being caught by Frankie Sutton off the bowling of Will Bowman.

Downham Stow finished with a total of 192 for 7 which looked to be slightly below par despite the slower early season outfield at Stow Hall.

After filling up on cricket teas, which are now back on the menu, Downham Stow’s bowlers applied pressure from the off.

Addam Todd, stepping in as captain switched the bowlers around cleverly with none of the Norwich batsmen scoring above 30.

Norwich’s run rate never really caught up but they were always in with a chance when they only needed 39 off the final five overs.

Joe Moss and Kurt Richards bowled superbly under pressure and George Means, making his debut for the club, removed the dangerous batsman of Charlie Nunn, caught-and-bowled for 15 after hitting two big sixes.

Fakenham v Cromer Match and matchball sponsor: Dempsey Heating Ltd