After Southwold’s batsmen racked up 279/8 their opening bowlers Jason Hall and Edward Garrard ripped through North Walsham’s batting order to secure a 242 run win which leaves them the only unbeaten team in Division 5 East and just 9 points behind leaders Beeston with a game in hand.
North Walsham won the toss and at their home ground elected to field first on a pitch which looked as if it could assist bowlers. They got quick reward for their decision too, as Matt Barbrook guided a catch to gully off captain and opener Daniel Hornagold. However, they had to wait till after drinks for another breakthrough as Stefan Clifford joined Alex Britten and the pair put on 83 for the second wicket. Clifford lofted Hornagold straight for a big six and cut boundaries at will before he was yorked by Bodymore, who would turn out to be the pick of the bowlers, collecting 4/76. Britten, having reached 67, top-edged a pull shot to be caught at slip leaving Southwold 119/3 and needing some power from the middle order. What followed was a succession of aggressive cameos, starting with Southwold’s skipper Sam Booker who, after hitting his first ball over point for four, went on to a quick 23. Despite David Barbrook departing for two, the runs still flowed – Luke Bailey hit three sixes and four fours in his brutal 45; Jason Hall three fours and three sixes in his equally destructive 35. All of this was built around a composed 45* for Tom Chibnall. Playing just his third game for the club, the right-hander turned the strike over to his bigger hitting partners before unleashing a flurry of shots around the wicket to lift Southwold to their highest score of the summer so far.
In reply, Hall got the visitors off to the perfect start as, second ball of their innings, he bowled Bodymore for a duck. With expectant slips waiting, he and Garrard got the ball to swing and nibble off the pitch and it was Hall who gleefully accepted the first chance, at third slip off Garrard. Batchelor got a thick edge off a cut shot and Hall, at full stretch, stuck out his unfavoured left hand. Seemingly suspended in mid-air, Hall grabbed the ball solidly and clung on to a brilliant catch. Garrard was on the board and suddenly the pair were competing with each other to see who could take the most wickets. Hall struck next, bowling McGuire, and then Garrard drew level as he bowled Hornagold. Smith launched Garrard for a big six straight over his head before Hall avenged his new ball partner as Clifford took an excellent catch standing up to the stumps and then Hall got another one, rattling the stumps once more as Tuttle departed. Garrard yorked Jeffries and Howes to catch up with Hall’s four wickets before Wickes played two perfect cover drives to display the good young cricketers North Walsham have. He went for the shot a third time off Garrard, but served up a catch to Chibnall at short-cover – meaning that it was Garrard who won the 5-fer race as the home team’s ten men were bowled out.
5/20 were Garrard’s final figures, backed up solidly by Hall’s 4/15 and some excellent fielding by Southwold. Another win puts the team 2nd in the league on 102 points after four games, chasing down Beeston who lie in first, on 111 points after five matches. Next week they are at home, hosting Ashmanaugh & Barton Wanderers.