Shakib’s innings sees off Belton

Belton travelled to the home of Norfolk Cricket, Manor Park, to take on Horsford in a bid to transfer their good home form on the road.

Belton’s innings got going in fine style with Adam Savoury and Nichols finding the boundary at regular intervals in the early overs, particularly off the bowling of young Clarke.

Just like the previous week, the opening partnership was nearing a half-century when the first wicket fell – Nichols gifting a simple return catch to Clarke to depart for 22. Savoury then fell in the followin over, bowled by Gilbert for 19.

The in-form Goreham (0) and Ali (1) failed to steady the innings and Cropley and George Savoury had the tough task of trying to build something respectable out of the innings.

The pair found the bowling of Shakib and leg-spinner Scarff more to their liking, with Cropley beginning to find the boundary more regularly off the leg-spinner with Savoury nudging the singles.

Balcombe broke the partnership with the score on 90 as Savoury was caught for 16. Chanchalani joined Cropley and they continued to up the run rate, Cropley going on to reach his half century.

After that, wickets began to tumble regularly and Belton had to settle for a below-par 163-9.

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Belton knew they had to make early breakthroughs in the Horsford reply to stand any chance of a unlikely victory and they got off to the most perfect of starts.

Nichols bowled Brett in the second-over with an in-swinging yorker and in the following over Ali cleaned up new man Owers to leave the hosts on 8-2.

Horsford number three Shakib, on the back of a big hundred, was the key man if Horsford were to reach their target. After slogging a couple of boundaries, Shakib was dropped twice inside one over, albeit tough chances, and Belton were made to pay.

Shakib was finding the boundary far too regularly for the visitors’ liking.

Belton’s chances of a win diminished when a huge lbe shout against Shakib was turned down before he was dropped the next ball. Shakib finally departed for 74 but the damage had been done.

Savoury bowled home skipper Scarff for 30 but Minns hit the winning runs to see Horsford home by five wickets.