Bowling attack shines as Walden stay unbeaten

Aaron Pledger dismisses Barry Collins. Picture: Jamie Pluck

Aaron Pledger dismisses Barry Collins. Picture: Jamie Pluck - Credit: Archant

Saffron Walden’s unbeaten start to the East Anglian Premier League season continued with a four-wicket win over Woolpit on Saturday.

It was Walden’s second win of the campaign and sees them sit joint top with Swardeston.

Their first win, over Norwich, was built on the strength of the batting line-up. On Saturday, the bowling attack flexed its muscles to dismiss Woolpit for a paltry 117.

Faced with arguably the league’s best pitch at the Anglo American Playing Fields, Woolpit skipper Andrew Northcote unsurprisingly opted to bat first. The decision backfired spectacularly.

Andrew Pledger needed two balls to dismiss Frans Bester for a duck and Cameron Taylor, Walden’s other opening bowler, was just as ruthless, clean bowling Sam Webb-Snowling (3) three overs later.


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The onslaught continued and by the time Woolpit had reached the 10-over mark, they were four wickets down as Taylor completed a three-wicket haul, both edged behind to Andrew Wright.

Sean Dickson (42) and Craig Estlea (32) went about rebuilding the innings with a partnership of 56 to take Woolpit to 89-5. Barrs tore the rescue operation apart in consecutive overs and the innings quickly unravelled.

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Number seven Craig Rutherford (19) offer a modicum of resistance but the tail end wilted under the pressure, with the final four batsmen recording four runs and a golden duck as Woolpit posted a below par 117.

As is so often the case in cricket when chasing a small total, Walden wobbled out of the gate and Michael Turner was caught for a seven-ball duck. Tom Philp continued his poor start to the season, going one run better than the 12 he scored on the opening weekend.

Luckily for Walden, Wright, who took three catches in the first innings, scored a composed 23 off 66 balls to steer them towards victory. Tom Bonham added a brief 24 before being caught to leave the score on 61-4.

For the second week running, Matt Gouldstone was the saviour. The right-hander, who is yet to be dismissed in the leagu, scored 87 last weekend and added 29 on Saturday to see Walden over the line.

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