Saffron Walden push league leaders to limit in confidence-boosting draw
- Credit: DANNY LOO PHOTOGRAPHY
Saffron Walden were denied a shock victory as East Anglian Premier League leaders Sawston & Babraham hung on for a draw.
Walden remain bottom of the standings but still picked up 17 points thanks to a fine batting performance at their Anglo-American Playing Fields home.
Winning the toss and electing to bat first, Walden got off to a fabulous start as Nick Taylor and Luke Swanston put on 98 for the opening wicket.
The latter was the man out having scored 47 in a near two-hour knock but Taylor ploughed on, adding another 108 together with Joshua Down.
He eventually departed for 107, made from 158 balls and containing 11 fours and four sixes.
Down also added 47 while skipper Ben Harris hit seven fours and a six as he got to a run-a-ball 46.
It all helped Walden up to 322-8 in 64 overs and gave the division's top dogs plenty to think about.
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Those thoughts wouldn't have improved much after losing two wickets for 35 runs but by the same token Noah Tain's 73 would have helped settle any nerves that were about.
His wicket was the fourth with Sawston on 127 and when they got up to 200-6 with one ball more than 10 overs remaining, a draw seemed very likely.
Walden though had other ideas and two wickets in four balls suddenly gave them 57 balls to get the remaining two wickets.
But despite a hard push to get there, Mark Smith and Luke Spears saw out the time left, and a further three overs, without another losing their wicket.
Jade Deklerk took the top bowling honours with 3-26 from his 18 overs but Alex Hancock pushed him close with 3-32, taken from nine overs.
Walden are back at home on Saturday when they host fifth-placed Sudbury.
The seconds lost by five wickets to St Ives Town & Warboys in Division Two of the Cambs & Hunts Premier League, Luke Ormsby scoring 40 and Finn Karsten taking 3-61, but there were wins for the thirds and fourths.
The threes beat Wilbrahams by eight wickets thanks to 104 not out from David Shaw and 83 for Jonathan Brace, the pair putting on 163 for the second wicket.
The fourths enjoyed a 35-run success at Linton Village, Gareth Norton hitting 100 not out.