TUCKER GARDNER PREMIER DIV. 1
Sawston 113 (38.2 overs) Foxton 98 (31.1 overs)
In a low scoring encounter Foxton went down by the narrow margin of 15 runs to their visitors and local rivals second placed Sawston. Winning the toss and electing to bat on a good looking surface with a firm outfield the Sawston openers Sam Powell and Liam Flynn found runs at a premium facing the hosts attack of Andrew Kealy and Max Bowen. After 14 overs they had advanced to just 29 with Kealy conceding a miserly seven runs from his opening spell of seven overs. The first bowling change introduced Mark Ferrari who quickly changed matters as he struck with the fourth ball of his first over claiming Flynn for 18 caught at first slip by Tom Stone. Not to be outdone Chris Pepper then produced a wicket maiden with his opening over trapping Powell l.b.w. for 13. Vaughan Blanchard and Adam Dellar then shared a third wicket stand of 25 and at drinks after 24 overs the Sawston total stood at a respectable 70-2. Kealy, returning for his second spell at once snared Dellar l.b.w. for 16 from his first ball and repeated the feat three deliveries later claiming Marc Pearson. In his next over the Aussie paceman dismissed Blanchard for 16 assisted by Stone bagging a very sharp chance again at first slip to leave the visitors beginning to struggle at 73-5 after 27 overs. Off spinner Stone in his second over soon had the Sawston skipper Adam Ellis caught in the deep by Max Bowen and this followed by two more scalps by Kealy signalled the end of the visitors innings. A bright ninth wicket stand of 26 from Aaron Pledger (14) and Marc Smith improved matters but the irrepressible Kealy, not to be denied, then bowled the former, and the latter became the fifth victim of the innings adjudged l.b.w. Tea was taken with Sawston finally totalling a surprisingly low 113 from 38.2 overs. Kealy had another impressive return of 14.2-6-22-7.
The start of the Foxton reply at once hit trouble with home skipper Gareth Roots l.b.w. to the spin of Blanchard using the old ball with only his third delivery. Worse was to follow for the hosts as Pledger operating from the other end with fast medium claimed Lawrence Farnum and Tom Dann cheaply, Blanchard then bowled Adam Webster and the league leaders were wobbling after seven overs at 10-4. Chris Pepper at number five was then joined by Ian Cambridge and the former after opening his account with a boundary then attempted to calm proceedings with 54 consecutive dot balls. Cambridge at once went for his shots and provided some relief with three quick fours and after 14 overs Foxton were 30-4. Steven Smith then began his spell from the church end and with his fourth ball trapped Cambridge, yet another l.b.w. victim for 13. Further success followed for the paceman with the dismissals of Pepper and home 'keeper Will Wright, and after 24 overs the home sides hopes were sinking at 52-7. An eighth wicket stand of 27 between Bowen and Stone then began to raise hopes together with some much needed boundaries. Pledger, now into his second spell then bowled Bowen for 13, but with Stone beginning to play his shots a tight finish ensued. With his score on 25, this being the top score of the match, he was caught in the covers by Pearson off Smith, Ferrari was then last out bowled by Smith to leave Foxton 98 all out from 31.1 overs. Led by Smith with 9.1-3-36-5, backed up by Pledger 3-36 and Blanchard 2-9 credit must be given to the Sawston bowlers, who after tasting early success kept up the pressure by bowling tightly through the duration of the Foxton innings. It was anticipated this would be a high scoring contest on a good batting wicket, but the ball kept surprisingly low for a dry Foxton wicket and many batsmen were claiming the ball was not coming onto the bat. The hosts had to be content with the eight bonus bowling points earned which keeps them at the head of the league on 256, followed by Sawston 235 and Wisbech 222, and with only five fixtures remaining it promises, as last season to be a tight exciting finish.
Foxton will be looking for a more positive result next week when they entertain bottom club Khalsa.