CRICKET: Railway's winning draw

PUBLISHED: 12:31 11 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:38 06 July 2010

KIRKLEY entertained bottom of the table Acle at Gunton Park on a bright and sunny Saturday afternoon knowing that a win would put clear daylight between themselves and their opponents.

KIRKLEY entertained bottom of the table Acle at Gunton Park on a bright and sunny Saturday afternoon knowing that a win would put clear daylight between themselves and their opponents.

Captain Hunter lost the toss and surprisingly was asked to bat first on a very good looking wicket. Due to work commitments the batting order was changed slightly and Snell and Willgoss strode out to the middle to open the innings for the hosts.

The pitch offered a little assistance to the opening bowlers, however Snell was in imperious form, rolling back the years with some trademark cover drives and he was particularly severe on Barnham, dispatching him for boundaries including a straight six.

Willgoss was content to dispatch anything loose to the boundary including some nice pull shots. The pair serenely passed 50 without much trouble and the score had advanced to 70 for no loss, Snell bringing up a well deserved half century just before drinks.

The score had progressed past the 100 mark as Snell began to open his shoulders, but on 106 he was bowled for a very well compiled 71.

This brought captain Hunter to the wicket, knowing a solid foundation for a big score had been laid. He immediately increased the tempo with some quality shots and intense running that had the opposition on the back foot. The visiting captain tried to rotate his bowlers to no avail as Hunter dispatched loose delivers to the boundary and Willgoss continued to offer resolute support at the other end. Willgoss took a quick single with the resulting overthrows, which carried to the boundary, bringing up a patient 50. Hunter soon followed in the next over reaching his half century. With overs ticking by and the score mounting, Willgoss was out trying to up the run rate for a well made 60.

Moore joined Hunter and played second fiddle to his captain who was in full flow now. With only six overs left and the score on 219, 300 was a possibility, however Futter bowled an immaculate line and length and the score was restricted slightly, with Moore turning the strike over to the captain every ball as all the fielders took up boundary positions.

With two overs left and Hunter needing four runs for a century the fielders closed in to try and prevent Hunter achieving his aim, however a loose ball bowled and a pulled four took Hunter to a magnificent century.

The innings completed with Kirkley setting the visitiors an imposing total of 283 for 2. Hunter finishing on 106 not out and Moore on 17 not out.

Acle's reply got off to a steady start against some indifferent Kirkley bowling and some rather fortuitous boundaries through the slips. They had reached 50 for no wicket and the fielders heads were dropping until Guy produced an excellent diving caught and bowled to remove the opener.

Nobbs was soon on his way back to the pavilion as Hunter took a good catch at slip off Lambert. Suddenly the spinners again had dragged the game back for Kirkley and the game was again in the balance.

Acle had now clearly decided that the target was beyond them and they were keen to play for a draw and neither batsmen showed any attacking intent as the game drifted until Guy enticed Cox to slash at a short ball and was tremendously caught by Walpole at extra cover.

Lambert then picked up another wicket and suddenly Acle found themselves four down and needing to play cautiously to achieve a draw. After both spinners had completed their spells, Howes and Clabburn came on to bowl and try and prize some more wickets out, however Howes managed to pick up a wicket and a late flurry of boundaries meant that Acle closed on 190 for 5.

This was a positive result as Kirkley managed 16 points to the visitors six, special mention must go to the captain for his magnificent century however Guy has to be mentioned for his outstanding spell of 2 for 29 from 12 overs.

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