Cooper hits a century as Diss end rivals’ title hopes

Pierce Fletcher sends down a delivery. ANL-150823-111536006
Pierce Fletcher sends down a delivery. ANL-150823-111536006

NORFOLK ALLIANCE 
PREMIER DIVISION

Sprowston 189-8 lost to Diss 190-2 by eight wickets

Simon Cooper struck a century as Diss destroyed the title aspirations of opponents Sprowston.

Cooper’s 109 included 11 fours and two sixes as he led the charge for the hosts - who are determined to end their Norfolk Cricket Alliance Premier Division season on a high.

Having won the crucial toss, Diss ensured the Norwich-based side were three batsmen down within six overs.

Pierce Fletcher claimed two scalps and Robbie West the other.

Andy Hanby (64) was the only visiting batsman to get to grips with the Diss attack, as spinners Mark Williamson and Rob Tooke weaved their magic.

Tooke picked up the obdurate Matthew Rush for 12, before getting the crucial wicket of Hanby for 64, as Williamson stuck to have overseas pro Harry Dalton caught by Fletcher in between.

Despite Tooke picking up two more scalps to finish with impressive figures of 4-63, some very poor fielding allowed Simon Chipperfield to get away from Diss, as he blasted an unbeaten 44 having been dropped three times.

A special mention must go to Mike Tooke and Will Dawson, whose fielding was on a different level to the rest of the side.

At halfway, honours were very much even.

What happened in the Diss reply was nothing short of sensational.

With skipper James Wilby playing the supporting role, Cooper decided this was his day to go to town.

The pair’s partnership was only on 55 when Cooper passed his half century from 42 balls as he was taking no prisoners in his Shahid Afridi-style innings.

With Sprowston trying no less than six bowlers in a bid to prize open the partnership, it was the returning Hanby who had Wilby caught behind off a vicious bouncer for 24.

The opening partnership ended on 104.

Out strode David Tooke and, having been inspired by Cooper, he found his feet straight away.

Cooper passed his second Premier Division century off 85 balls in the 33rd over, in what was a quite astonishing display of batting.

When he fell for 109 reverse sweeping, it was left to Tooke (35 no) and Davey (two not out) to knock off the required runs.

Tooke dispatched Matt Evans’ delivery over mid on to claim a 22-point victory for Diss.

The result leaves Sprowston trailing champions Fakenham by 40 points.

Diss travel to Old Buckenham this Saturday, hoping to finish off a topsy-turvy season on a high.