Pope's performance is truly divine

PUBLISHED: 14:20 24 May 2011

Sutton CC V Soham CC, sutton batsman Craig Faux, out

Sutton CC V Soham CC, sutton batsman Craig Faux, out

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SOHAM opener Joshua Pope smashed an undefeated 124 as his side scored a narrow one-wicket win over local rivals Sutton on Saturday.

SOHAM opener Joshua Pope smashed an undefeated 124 as his side scored a narrow one-wicket win over local rivals Sutton on Saturday.

While his beleaguered team-mates continued to fall cheaply, Pope stuck to his task manfully and was still at the crease fighting for the win with number 11 batsmen Steve Bell as the final runs were scored.

The win, Soham’s first of the season, moved them up out of the relegation zone and into a tie for seventh place with Sutton.

On a largely blustery day, it was Sutton who batted first and, after an early wobble, they began to pile on the runs through S Cooper (54) and the in-form Laxman Griffin-Singh (53).

When the run-scoring duo had been dismissed however, Sutton struggled to regain their fluency and were fortunate that Soham’s errant bowling added 48 extras to their total.

Chris Branch bowled superbly for Soham, mopping up 4-7 from just four overs as the Sutton innings was brought to an abrupt end for 193, having at one stage been 167-5. Steve Bell (3-47) also enjoyed a successful outing with the ball.

Though Tom Clayton and Nick Mingay managed only eight runs between them at the top of the order in Soham’s reply, their shortcomings were more than compensated by the good work of Pope, who continued to play aggressively.

With excellent bowling from Glenn Campbell (3-47) and Cooper (2-58) reducing Soham to 109-6, the victory seemed a near inevitability for the home side.

A staunch innings of 16 from Michael Harvey allowed Pope to continue his one-man mission however, and he powered the visitors on to 166 and within sight of victory.

A brace of quick wickets from Campebll set the outcome on a knife-edge again though, and it took some gutsy defence from number 11 Bell to ensure Pope was on hand to hit the remaining runs.

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