A busy Weekend for Norton
|Author: Chris Bowmer||Published: 13th August 2019 17:08|
It is typical that a critical league match and a cup final happen on a weekend when many stalwarts of this year’s team were away, poor weather and summer holidays always a heady mix.
On Saturday Norton hosted Radway CC for the second time, and match 4 in a series, this time with Norton poised for promotion but needing a minimum 4 points to guarantee this, with a match to go.
The stand in skipper lost the toss and Norton were inserted on a day that saw the strongest winds of the summer and a batting order pretty sparse on the expertise front. With instructions to hang around Baker and Robinson did decently well in the attempt until Baker mistimed one on the damp wicket to be caught for 10.
Bodily (7) struggling with fitness and a poor run of form went soon after and it was down to Robinson and Pittom to push on. They took the score up to 60 when Robinson fell for 23 immediately followed by Bowmer jnr (0).
Pittom started to farm the strike and he with Howkins managed to slowly build a worthwhile score, Howkins fell for 17 in a partnership of 48 and the last few balls saw Pittom take his score to a fabulous 52 no and Norton to an adequate 141-6. Importantly 2 batting points towards the 4 needed for promotion.
Radway started slowly with Holton jnr on senior debut causing all sorts of problems and Bowmer snr, nobly bowling into the wind, as always difficult to get away. With Bowmer’s 8 overs going for only 12 runs Norton had some measure of control but not too many wickets, Radway 43-2 off 20.
Norton were struggling to find a 5th bowler and control gradually slipped as in turn Radway batsmen came and went, but with accelerating run rate, 87-5 off 30. Green managed 3 wickets but too many byes and the odd bad ball saw Radway edge closer. Skipper Walker came together with veteran Douthwaite on 117-8 still needing 26 with 5 overs left. Norton though with 4 more bowling points, and promotion assured.
Still playing sensibly, Radway managed 9 off over 36 but only 2 wickets were needed, there was hope on both sides. The last over started with the scores level and Radway needed 3 more balls to make it – a close game played in great spirit.
Sunday brought the Mid Week League cup final and even less availability va MK Air, Skipper Bowmer again losing the toss to be inserted, this one probably critical.
Norton’s early batting felt immediate scoreboard pressure and 2 run outs saw Norton really struggling at 10-3 off 6 overs. Again Robinson (16) and Pittom (22) brought a recovery of sorts taking Norton to 38-3 off 11 but once these two fell 49-5 off 13 looked well short of a competitive total, as the tail wagged a score looked possible and 93 all out was down to some excellent shots from all with Prasanth (13) noticeable for unusual placement.
The total though never seemed enough despite the loss of Vipul (1) early. With the wind still tricky bowling from one end remained difficult and in turn both Bowmer’s and Prasanth were unable to control the wides with 19 conceded in total.
At the other end though Holton jnr was very effective and his bowling was well appreciated by the Umpires who awarded him the man of the match with several dropped catches (and one caught off a no ball) he deserved much better figures than 1-25 off his 4 overs - figures which in any case looked pretty good.
MK Air though were in control, Mangal (42 no) and Neel (21) playing some powerful shots on their way despite being dropped more than once each. The target reached with 5 overs to spare and only 2 wickets down. A weak Norton team doing well but a shame to lose a final that could have been won.