Downham edge derby thriller
LITTLE Downham edged to a 21-run run win over local rivals Sutton on Saturday in one of the games of the season so far.
Despite Downham posting an imposing 198 with the bat, Sutton rose admirably to the task and looked on course for an unlikely win only to be denied by some superb bowling at the death from the home side.
The win moves Downham into the Division 2A promotion places, with four wins to their name from six matches while Sutton drop into the relegation zone with the loss having scored only two victories so far this season.
A blistering opening salvo from Downham’s Peter Baker (55), who hit no less than 10 boundaries, had the visitors chasing the ball to all parts of the field early on.
The breakthrough finally came courtesy of young bowler Ryan Bowles who picked up the first wicket of the innings as Downham reached 68.
A second wicket for the youngster just a run later saw the pressure on the home side increase and they were soon pegged back to 85-4 after an electric start.
Big-hitting Gary Dewsbury smashed 12 boundaries and two maximums in his stand-out knock of 83 to hand the home side back the impetus but even he couldn’t hold out against Bowles, who cleaned bowled him.
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The pacemen eventually finished with figures of 6-40 from eight outstanding overs.
With the top-order dismissed Downham’s pace slowed somewhat and the middle order batsmen struggled to break out of double figures, aside from a cameo of 16 from P Staines.
Ren Barnard picked up 2-10 from his four overs and James Nuttall chipped in with 1-24 as Sutton eventually bowled out the hosts for 198.
Requiring almost five-runs-per-over for the win, Sutton started poorly and the ever reliable bowling of James White (2-20) and Baker (3-28) ensured they found themselves in dire straits at 69-6.
Number three batsmen Paul Robinson had other ideas however, and he weighed in with 59 to help the visitors back into the match. A quick-fire knock of 30 from Barnard helped boost the score further and by the time the seventh wicket fell, Sutton had a glimmer of hope on 134.
Chris Greaves managed 23 to add yet more weight to Sutton’s victory surge but he was finally bowled by Baker and, despite some noble efforts from the tail end batsmen, Phil Cornwell (2-22) and R Palmer (2-39) mopped up the remaining batsmen with the minimum of fuss. The last wicket fell with Sutton on 177.