Saffron Walden slip from Tucker Gardner Division One top spot

Alec Smith. Picture: Jamie Pluck

Alec Smith. Picture: Jamie Pluck - Credit: Archant

Joe Barrs’ Saffron Walden slipped to fifth in Tucker Gardner Division One after a seven-wicket loss at new leaders Nassington.

Having lost the toss and been put into bat on a soft and wet wicket following last week’s rain, Walden were still confident of setting a decent total. They had experienced similar conditions at Ramsey a few weeks prior, where they set 280 in the first innings.

The innings got off to a similarly solid start at Nassington, with Alec Smith and Josh Down taking the score to 63-2 from 17 overs.

However with the loss of Smith in the 18th over, the rot slowly set in.

Walden proceeded to lose a steady stream of wickets and it wasn’t until Barrs entered the fold that any meaningful pressure was applied to the bowling attack.

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Walden collapsed to 108 all out, having not used all of their allotted overs.

It is necessary to highlight the quality and suitability of the Nassington attack to the conditions - when they bowled legal deliveries, they were able to bowl stump to stump, allowing the pitch to play its part in deceiving Walden’s batsman.

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Naturally the visitors were optimistic of being able to bowl better and use the pitch in a similar fashion.

However, the Nassington batsmen, used to the conditions at their home ground, came out with the intention of attacking Walden’s bowlers.

They had wickets in hand that allowed this to be an effective strategy.

Despite Jack Sneath’s efforts with the ball, Nassington finished off the game comfortably in the 25th over, scoring 112-3.

Saffron Walden will be hoping for a stronger finish to the first half of the season this weekend when they face Foxton.

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