Gouldstone and Gale bat Walden to victory

Matt Gouldstone. Picture: Jamie Pluck

Matt Gouldstone. Picture: Jamie Pluck - Credit: Archant

Matt Gouldstone and Andrew Gale batted Saffron Walden to their second consecutive win in the East Anglian Premier League.

Michael Turner. Picture: Jamie Pluck

Michael Turner. Picture: Jamie Pluck - Credit: Archant

Gouldstone was run out for 61 and Gale carried his bat for 60 to help Walden chase down Woolpit’s first innings score of 226.

It was Walden’s second win in two weeks after they beat Norwich by five wickets seven days previously. Gouldstone was kept relatively quiet in that game, scoring three runs and taking two wickets, while Gale was a major factor in the victory, adding an unbeaten 25 to three wickets to see Walden over the line.

Gale was at his best on Saturday at Main Square, recording his highest score of the season and first half-century. He was held wicket-less but he more than made up for it, hitting a 66-ball 60, including nine fours, in partnerships of 54 and 59 with Gouldstone and Joe Barrs respectively to see Walden past Woolpit for the second time this season.

There was little chance that Gouldstone, Walden’s highest run-scorer on the season, was going to be held quiet two weeks in a row and so it proved. He took three wickets to take his haul to 18 and his 61 saw him past 600 runs on the year.

The performance of the day, however, belonged to Woolpit captain Andrew Northcote. He scored his second century of the year with a 126-run stand at the top of the order. He anchored the innings until falling in the 55th over, run out by Alec Smith, with the score on 204.

With the skipper gone, Woolpit’s last three wickets offered little resistance, with Smith recording his second run-out of the match and Barrs and Gouldstone getting one each, and the innings closed on 226.

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The run chase got off to disastrous start when Johnny Brace, Tom Picton-Tuberville and Smith all walked inside 13 overs. That brought Gouldstone to the crease and he steadied the ship in partnerships with Michael Turner and Alistair Russell.

His 54 with Gale put Walden on track to win the game before he was run out, bringing captain Barrs out to join Gale in the middle and knock off the required runs.

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