Gouldstone stars with the bat against Norwich on opening day

PUBLISHED: 15:37 20 April 2015 | UPDATED: 15:37 20 April 2015

Matt Gouldstone. Picture: Jamie Pluck

Matt Gouldstone. Picture: Jamie Pluck

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Saffron Walden (252-7) beat Norwich (200) by 52 runs

Matt Gouldstone starred for Saffron Walden on the opening day of the season with an unbeaten 87 in a 52-run win over Norwich in the East Anglian Premier League.

Coming in at number five with the score on 61-3, after captain Joe Barrs opted to bat first, the rest of the innings centre around Gouldstone as he struck a composed 87 from 139 balls.

It was a fantastic showing for the right-hander who had only scored four runs in two pre-season games.

His good work wasn’t limited to the bat. His three wickets were bested only by his captain, who took 4-55, as Norwich were bowled out for 200.

It was a great start to the season for Walden, who sit top of the league after one game, against a side that beat them handsomely last year.

Barrs stated ahead of the game that he wanted to restore the club to its rightful place as a contender in the league and they certainly started like it as Tom Philp (12) and Michael Turner (20) put on 34 runs for the first wicket.

Another 27 runs from Turner and Andrew Wright (11) had the hosts looking good before a three wicket collapse saw them fall from 61-1 to 65-4.

That’s when Gouldstone took over and put on impressive partnerships with Jack Sneath (17), Barrs (41) and Spencer Hill (21*) to see Walden to a competitive score.

Norwich started the chase with a 70-run stand before Gouldstone (3-42) removed the top order in the space of six overs.

A fourth wicket stand of 74 between Ashley Watson and Ben Hutchinson ran the score up to 170 as Norwich closed in on victory.

The innings quickly unravelled, however. Aided by a run-out by Andrew Pledger, Barrs ripped the heart out of the middle order then handed the ball to Philp (2-30) to clean up the tail before returning to take the final wicket.

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