Walden end seven game winless streak
- Credit: Archant
Saffron Walden beat Norwich by five wickets to end an seven game winless streak in the East Anglian Premier League.
Walden last tasted victory on April 25, a four-wicket win over Wollpit. Since then, they have lost four, draw three and had two games cancelled.
Mark Pettini, Walden’s open bat, was chiefly behind his side’s return to winning ways. He scored 12 fours in over two hours at the crease before he was caught behind for 84.
His 116-run opening stand with Mark Turner, who was caught and bowled by Aaron Turner for 42, saw Walden take a sizeable chunk out of their 229 run target.
The rest of the line-up failed to replicate their success but they did enough to win the match.
Overseas player Alec Smith, freshing off smashing 132 in last week’s draw with Horsford scored 35 off 44 balls.
When he was clean bowled by Watson, Walden were 209-5 and just 21 runs away from winning their first game 10 weeks.
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Andrew Gale, a phenom with the ball earlier in the day, finished unbeaten on 25 and Alistair Russell carried his bat for 15 off 11 balls as Walden recorded a five wicket win.
While the bowlers will take the plaudits for winning the game, the bowlers deserve just as much credit. They kept Norwich under four runs an over for the majority of their innings.
Ben Waring struck in the fourth over to remove Patrick Sheridan for a duck, his only wicket of the match.
With the batsman stifled by the bowling attack, Sam Pointer, Norwich’s opener, had to work very hard for his 98. His poise didn’t rub off on too many of his team-mates, six of whom were caught out while trying to play shots.
Ben Hutchinson and Pointer put 81 runs on the board for the fourth wicket to take Norwich from 76-3 to 157-4. Gale broke the partnership, finding the edge of Hutchinson’s bat on the way through to the reliable gloves of Russell.
It was Gale’s second wicket after he’d pinned Russell Emmanuel in his crease, and he had two more, getting Will Kennard to find Jonny Brace’s hands and dismissing Sanjay Mishra caught and bowled.
Stand-in skipper Matt Gouldstone took two wickets to take his season’s tally to 14 and Smith got his first for the club.
In three games, Smith, from Tazmania, had scored 239 runs - an average of almost 80 - had he had failed to take a wicket. He made up for it on Saturday, having Pointer caught by Gale, in the 59th over, to suck the air out of Norwich’s innings.
Having waited for three games to get his first, he spun out two more batsmen in his next two overs to claim his first three-wicket haul for Walden.