Wilcox masterclass inspires leaders Downham Stow

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A Ben Wilcox masterclass took the Downham Stow first team to a thrilling one-wicket victory over Sprowston.Sprowston won the toss and made the easy decision to bat first against the Norfolk Alliance Premier Division leaders on a pitch that resembled the A1.It was tough work for the bowlers with the ball coming nicely onto the bat and Sprowston took full advantage of the conditions with a first-wicket partnership of 164.However, all the bowlers worked hard and knew that containing runs was the key, to keep the target under 300.Arthur Wilcox was the pick of the bowlers taking 3-46 off his 10.At the end of their innings, Sprowston ended on 284-7.Chasing 284, the batters knew that partnerships throughout would be crucial. The opening pair of Will Denny and Freddy Fairey provided a solid platform, with Denny making 55 from 54 balls to ensure the positive momentum could be carried on. Ben Wilcox arrived to the crease at 84-2 and made his intentions clear from the outset with positive footwork and outstanding running between the wickets.The chase seemed to be a straightforward one, with the batters keeping up with the rate and ticking the scoreboard over, however a triple breakthrough took the score from 143-2 to 148-5 in the space of three overs.Fortunately, Wilcox was still at the crease. Skipper Pat Yates, steadied the ship along with Wilcox with a crucial knock of 28 ensuring that the scoreboard never stagnated. The loss of Yates meant that the side needed 81 to win in the last 10 overs with four wickets in hand.The last 10 overs were thrilling cricket that saw the momentum shift between the two sides. Wilcox managed to find boundaries at crucial times and was assisted with the lower order all making valuable contributions:Adam Todd 20 (15), George Cook 16 (9), Owen Stacey 9 (7) and Jamie Cook 5 (5) all made telling contributions towards the death. Wilcox got to his 100, but was unfortunately run out in the penultimate over to leave number 11 Jamie Cook and Owen Stacey needing five to win.Great running and smart batting saw the total tied with an over to go. After playing three dot balls, Cook hit the winning runs through cover to seal a great victory for the side.

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