Michaelides fires Diss to fine away victory

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DIPPLE AND CONWAY

OPTICIANS

NORFOLK

CRICKET ALLIANCE

PREMIER DIVISION

Swardeston 231-7 lost to Diss 233-6 by four wickets

Diss returned to form with a superb team performance to record a four-wicket win at Swardeston on Saturday.

James Wilby won the toss and elected to bowl, with both Diss opening bowlers Robbie West and Chris Cooper finding a nice line and length.

It was the mightily impressive Nicholas Michaelides who struck first for the visitors, cleaning up Freddie Ruffell with a jaffa (29).

With six bowlers tried by the halfway stage, Swardeston sat pretty on 91-1, despite an impressive four over spell from 14-year-old Aidan Browne.

However, the first ball after drinks saw a world class, direct hit from Wilby to run out Daniel Martin for 28.

With Swardeston’s two best players now in at the crease, it was time for Diss to step on the gas, but unfortunately Jason Reynolds and Daniel Poulton both rotated the strike well.

Poulton also played the odd big shot, carting an off colour Mark Williamson for a gigantic six.

Just as heads started to drop in the field, Mark Brawn produced the perfect bouncer to Poulton, who holed out to Will Dawson at deep square leg.

And when Ian Tuffs retired on 31, and Reynolds was bowled for 48, all of a sudden Diss could smell blood. However, despite decent second spells from Cooper, West and Michaelides, some lucky blows from Swardeston’s lowest order meant the visitors would be chasing 232.

With three batsmen missing, Diss needed a good start but it did not arrive as out of form Simon Cooper was bounced out for a duck.

It meant a weight of pressure on the shoulders of Wilby and the ever improving David Tooke.

The pair started cautiously before moving through the gears, with Tooke in particular looking to branch out.

Just as Diss seemed to be cruising, Tooke holed out in the 21st over to long on, to depart for a splendid 55.

This meant Michaelides was in, and he looked in control from the outset.

The score was on 143 when the third wicket fell, the in-form Wilby finally departing for 59.

The visitors still had seven wickets in hand and only 80 to get, but in true Diss style a collapse came, as Cooper (six), Barnarby Chenery (five) and Browne (one) all departed.

Suddenly it was game on with the score now on 176-6 and 56 runs required.

After a circumspect start to the partnership of Williamson and Michaelides, the runs began to flow, particularly from the bat of the latter.

Michaelides (68 not out) swamped three maximums over extra cover, while Williamson (17 no) played a superb supporting role to get Diss over the line.