Superb opening partnership not enough for Mallards

John Ewart featured in a memorable opening stand for Vauxhall Mallards. Picture: Archant

John Ewart featured in a memorable opening stand for Vauxhall Mallards. Picture: Archant - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

A superb opening stand of over 200 from John Ewart and Matt Plater wasn’t enough as Vauxhall Mallards lost to defending EAPL champions Swardeston by 51 runs at The Common.

Swardeston made 344-8 off their 50 overs and Mallards replied with 293-8.

Mallards were still looking for their first league win when they had a return meeting with Swardeston last Saturday following a national cup game earlier in the season.

Having won the toss Mallards put Swardeston in to bat on a cold, grey and gloomy morning.

Paul Bradshaw struck straight away, getting Peter Lambert lbw off the fourth ball of the innings and with Adam Todd at the pavilion end they looked to have had Swardeston in trouble on 45 for three off the first nine overs.

It wasn’t until 36 overs later, when Ali Shearer brought himself on, that the next wicket fell after Jason Reynolds and Joe Gatting had put on 262 for the fourth wicket.

Reynolds went first, caught in the deep for 120 and then, two balls later, Gatting went in exactly the same way for 131. Their solid approach to Mallards’ bowling helped Swardeston to a commanding total.

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Ewart and Plater led the Mallards’ reply. They batted with the same intent and were consistent in keeping matched to Swardeston’s run rate right up to the 36th over when Plater fell, lbw to Reynolds, on 101 having built an opening partnership with Ewart of 209.

In a similar pattern to the host’s innings Ewart was out in the next over for 90. The difference between the two teams came in the last 13 overs.

Mallards’ run chase fell away as they lost wickets which stalled a late burst of runs. Mallards, having kept on track to reach the necessary target, didn’t keep the momentum going and finished on 293 for eight off their 50 overs.

The two teams meet for the third consecutive weekend this Sunday in the ECB Club Championship after Mallards meet with Burwell at home on Saturday in the EAPL.

Mallards A lost a tight game against Diss by two wickets in Norfolk Alliance Division One.

They were restricted to just 165-9 (Matthew Seager 37 not out) but that almost proved enough, with Mark Pepper taking 4-30 as Diss edged to a nervy victory. Mallards host an in-form Bradfield side tomorrow.