Last over agony for Acle
ACLE lost by a single wicket in a tense last-over affair at reigning Norfolk Alliance champions Downham in a game they should have won.It showed how much they have improved, but also how much improvement still has to be made if they want to be competitive in the Premier Division.
ACLE lost by a single wicket in a tense last-over affair at reigning Norfolk Alliance champions Downham in a game they should have won.
It showed how much they have improved, but also how much improvement still has to be made if they want to be competitive in the Premier Division.
It started well on a hot day when skipper Paul Munford won the toss and elected to bat on a surface that looked likely to offer some assistance later in the day to the bowlers.
Openers Porter and Franks were looking to make a positive start against the Downham bowlers, including new county man Adam Todd, but Franks (1) was soon bowled by Stuart, who brought one back up the hill.
This brought Kiwi recruit Matt Short to the wicket and he looked fluent as he and Porter (22) constructed a solid partnership of 63 before Porter drove to mid-off off Barnard to leave Acle with a good base at 73-2 off 20 overs.
Adam Munford came and went quickly, bringing the resolute Huggins to the crease to play sensibly with the free-scoring Short.
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However, shortly after bringing up his half-century, Short was out stumped for a pleasing 61.
Wth another couple of quick wickets, Acle were teetering at 127-6 and they had lost five wickets for 50 runs when well set.
The experienced Paul Newman
(40 not out) played an innings of initially obdurate defence to quell Downham's momentum before a measured attack late on. Despite losing Huggins for a well-crafted 37 and Josh Rowe for 10, he guided Acle to a competitive total of 202-8, although Downham could have been batted out of the game.
Acle knew it was important to take their chances and play with intensity across the whole team, but they managed neither.
Newman and Jon Lee took the new ball and an early chance went begging when the dangerous Alex Stuart (57) was dropped at mid-wicket off Newman, and the Dowham openers settled in comfortably.
Neil Grady was introduced to the attack but was off-colour and expensive as Downham compiled a 50-run opening partnership.
It wasn't until the introduction of slow bowlers Porter and Franks that the game started to turn back in Acle's favour.
Barnard (11) ran himself out with the score on 68 when Huggins reacted quickly to a quick single. Porter claimed Ardnt (1) lbw and Franks claimed Tullet (0) in similar fashion before Stuart was caught on the boundary off Porter to leave Downham at 85-4.
The game was on a knife-edge with Downham's overseas star Phangiso and skipper Lanchester together and Acle knew if they could break this partnership quickly they would expose the lower order with still over 100 needed.
But Acle dropped three very presentable chances before Matt Short showed how it should be done, taking a steepling chance to remove Phangiso off Porter. But it had cost Acle 55 runs and Downham, 140-5, were in control.
The game then took another turn with Newman returning to the attack and claiming Angus Stuart's (0) wicket lbw to leave Downham at 140-6. And with Rowe claiming the vital wicket of Lanchester, caught behind for 31, Downham were 153-7 and Acle could sense victory.
Amazingly, Acle dropped two more chances to remove Addam Todd (28 not out), and Downham were within sight of the finishing line with a 35-run partnership.
Finally Newman removed both Joss Stuart (10) and Corbett (4), leaving Downham needing nine runs from their final pair. A triple of singles later, R King took Downham to victory with a massive six off the beginning of the final over.
Acle were disappointed. They had lost when they should have secured a victory, but they have to realise the positives, correct their mistakes and move on to a tough game at Topcroft.
MoM: Paul Newman for a sensible 40 not out and a bowling return of 3-36 that so nearly got Acle over the line. Matt Short's innings of 61 also deserved a special mention.