Vauxhall Mallards have mixed luck on opening weekend of season

Tino Best celebrates a wicket for Mildenhall on Saturday. Picture: RMG Photography

Tino Best celebrates a wicket for Mildenhall on Saturday. Picture: RMG Photography - Credit: Archant

There was a win in the cup but a defeat in the league on the opening weekend of the season for Vauxhall Mallards.

The first East Anglian Premier League fixture of the year was away to newly-promoted Mildenhall. The match was played under the new 50 overs format adopted by the league for the first quarter of the season.

The longer 60 over game will be played in the middle part of the season before reverting back to the shorter format for the remaining six games.

Mallards were put in to bat and lost three quick wickets to 35-year-old former West Indies bowler Tino Best who is playing during the early part of the season for Mildenhall.

The innings progressed steadily, dictated by Mildenhall’s slow over rate, the consequence of 35 wides and long run-ups by their bowlers.

Extras made up 51 of the total while Paul Bradshaw top scored on 41 but the final total also included 12 runs awarded to Vauxhall Mallards as a penalty for the slow over rate.

In reply Mildenhall’s batsmen built stronger partnerships and were led by captain Ben Shepperson, who scored 91 not out, to overtake the total of 230 with three overs to spare.

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The Sunday fixture for Mallards was a cup tie against Fakenham at Halvergate in the ECB National Club Championship.

Fakenham elected to bat and reached a total of 211-9 in their allotted 45 overs.

Their innings was built round the 74 scored by young batsman Billy Buckingham.

Mallards’ reply was dominated by John Ewart. In a steady partnership of 89 with Harry Barker and then a quicker 75 with Ben France, Ewart made a fine 101 not out as he and Caswell saw Mallards home with a well executed chase to win the match by seven wickets with 3.1 overs to spare.

Determined preparation for the 2017 cricket season at the club has taken place over the last few months.

Work at the ground, including repairs after winter storm damage, new sponsorship by Smith & Pinching, net sessions and warm-up games all culminated last weekend.

Mallards also have two games this week.

They welcome Sudbury to Halvergate in the league on Saturday and the host holders Swardeston in the first round of the Carter Cup on Sunday.