Ely just short in thrilling Cottenham tussle

Ely CC V Cottenham CC, Ely bowler Ollie Sellers

Ely CC V Cottenham CC, Ely bowler Ollie Sellers - Credit: Archant

Cricket CCA Senior Division 2

Ely CC V Cottenham CC, Ely bowler andy Zajac

Ely CC V Cottenham CC, Ely bowler andy Zajac - Credit: Archant

ELY came up just six runs short in an enthralling run chase against Cottenham on Saturday.

Ed Aniskowicz’s charges batted superbly in pursuit of 238 but simply ran out of overs as Cottenham held their nerve at the death.

With rain forecast, and having won the toss, Aniskowicz opted to bowl first at the Paradise Centre.

Ely got off to the best possible start as the dangerous Chris Tuck was caught behind for 0 by keeper Saiful Nury off the bowling of Duncan Fraser. The visitors then consolidated as opener Guy Musson was joined by the in-form Nick Davies.

The pair added 91 for the second wicket, with Davies in particular playing some aggressive on-side strokes early on.

Renowned partnership breaker Jonathan Woods snared Musson, who was stumped by Nury for 38. Stuart Cronin followed soon after for just 10 and then Tom Colquhoun followed for 4, caught by Nury off the bowling of Woods, as Cottenham were reduced to 127-4.

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The visitors’ skipper Matt Talaga contributed 24 to a partnership of 44 with Davies either side of a rain break and an early tea. Talaga was caught by Aniskowicz off the bowling of Rich Vincett, who decided to bowl off breaks in his second spell.

Ben Drane helped Davies to add a quick fire 41 for the next wicket - the former’s contribution of 25 featured some lusty blows, including two sixes off Andy Zajac. Fraser snared Drane for 25 and Daniel Parrott followed soon after, lbw to the same bowler for 1. Davies opened up again in the last few overs to guide his team to an imposing 237-7 in their 45 overs. The number three finished on 116 not out.

The pick of Ely’s bowlers was Duncan Fraser who finished with figures of 4-40 off his 12 overs, while Woods came away with 2-46.

Ely made an uncharacteristically speedy start to their reply, openers Nury and Jonny Wallace sharing a stand of 65 in 12 overs.

Wallace was bowled for 20 by slow left armer Jake Raven. Unfortunately Woods failed to maintain the momentum, despite a promising start, as he was yorked by Tuck for 8.

Nury continued to hit some classy boundaries on his way to 86 off just 71 balls. Nury was eventually dismissed, caught in the deep by Cronin to give Raven his second wicket.

Aniskowicz was joined by Andy Buck coming in at number five this week but the two only shared a stand of 16 before Aniskowicz holed out to mid-off.

Buck and the returning Rob Finch put on 48 but the required run rate was increasing. Finch was caught close on the off side off the bowling of Drane for 27. This brought Andy Zajac to the crease. Buck followed soon after for 28, run out after he called Zajac for a tight second. Zajac and Fraser injected some impetus into the innings but then stagnated as Colquhon bowled two tight overs towards the end when the required run rate was teetering around a run a ball. Zajac went for eight as he was bowled by Drane trying to straight drive.

Vincett joined Fraser and the required run rate climbed to eight an over off the last three overs. Fraser was run out in the penultimate over, trying to sneak a single to keeper Talaga who threw down the stumps from close range. Vincett and veteran Matt Tonge added a few runs at the end but the came up short.