Martham closing in on promotion after securing another win

Norfolk player James Hale delivers for Great Witchingham during Saturday's clash with EAPL leaders S

Norfolk player James Hale delivers for Great Witchingham during Saturday's clash with EAPL leaders Sudbury at Walcis Park. Picture: Tim Ferley - Credit: Archant

Martham made the long trip to Fakenham to continue their pursuit of promotion to Division Two of the Norfolk Alliance and came away with another win.

They saw off Fakenham’s seconds by five wickets to move 51 points ahead of third placed Bungay, with just three matches left to play.

With two sides going up Martham now need just one more maximum haul to secure their target and will be hoping to complete the job when they play host to bottom side North Runcton A tomorrow (1pm).

Fakenham won the toss and elected to bat first on a day when the weather was likely to be a factor later in the afternoon.

Martham made an early breakthrough thanks to Muthu Lanka. But any signs of an early collapse were dispelled by Fakenham batsmen Callum Futter and Andrew Hancock. A long day appeared to be on the cards before Futter fell to Will Oakey’s spin.

From then on it was a one man show for Fakenham, with Hancock amassing 76 of their 141 runs, the innings being interrupted by a break for rain and an early tea.

Lanka (2-16) and Oakey (2-30) returned excellent figures — but it was the raw pace and variation of Lewis Dunn who claimed four wickets in 27 balls for just three runs that ripped through the scorecard.

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Martham made a faltering start, and they found themselves three wickets down for just 25 runs, with Fakenham perhaps sniffing an upset.

But by the time Jack Whatmough had fallen for 43, another break for rain had come and gone and Finn Grist had reached his 50, the game was all but won.

Grist finished unbeaten on 63 and Martham had won by five wickets in the 28th over.

Disappointingly, points wise, Martham were again punished for bowling the opposition out for less than 200 runs, but other than that, it was another win, and another step towards promotion - but the players are well aware that they are not there yet.

It promises to be an exciting weekend for Martham, with Saturday’s crucial league fixture followed by a trip to the home of Norfolk cricket on Sunday.

They face the huge challenge of taking on reigning Premier Division champions Brooke in the final of the Lady Mary Trophy. The 50 overs a side game at Manor Park gets under way at midday.