CECIL AMEY OPTICIANS NORFOLK ALLIANCE
Lowestoft (137) lost to
by seven wickets
League-leading Diss made it five successive victories by sweeping aside basement dwellers Lowestoft on Saturday.
Much of the damage for the visitors was done by captain Mark Williamson, who ended with bowling figures of 5-27, while Chris Cooper contributed 90 runs from just 69 balls.
After winning the toss, Diss skipper Williamson opted to bowl first on a green-looking pitch in overcast conditions.
The away side made the perfect start when Cooper struck with his fourth ball, finding the outside edge of Peter Mitchell (4).
Both Daniel Taylor and Cooper made runs tough to come by, and their pressure was rewarded through a sublime piece of fielding from Sam Hunt, who ran out Nathan Garrod for 8 with a direct hit.
Runs continued to be difficult to find for Lowestoft, as Cooper finished his 10 overs, conceding just 11 runs.
Hunt (9-2-22-0) replaced Daniel Taylor and bowled tightly, while Williamson looked threatening at the other end.
Williamson eventually got opener Adam Savoury (21) as Lowestoft’s frustration was telling, with the hosts struggling to just 45-2 at the halfway stage.
After good work from Diss wicketkeeper Lewis Taylor, Williamson got the key wicket of Tom Brice for 26, which left Lowestoft in deep trouble at 69-4.
There was some resistance from batsman Elliott George, who batted aggressively until he was adjudged lbw to Williamson — the Diss skipper’s third victim.
He continued to bowl intelligently, tempting batsmen into false shots, and struck again by bowling David Brown for 4, leaving Lowestoft 116-6.
Opener Daniel Taylor (10-0-39-1) returned and struck immediately, trapping Charlie Duckmanton lbw for a duck.
Lowestoft’s number six Craig Guy was stuck up the other end watching wickets tumble, as Williamson (10-4-27-5) finished off a superb spell with the wicket of Cameron Nichols (0).
Ridwan Hoque was run out for 0 without facing a ball after good work from David Tooke, and Lowestoft eventually scrambled to 137 all out from 45.5 overs,
Williamson had been the standout performer with the ball, but excellent fielding performances from Hunt, Mark Brawn, Mike Tooke, Aidan Browne, Douglas Young and David Tooke (two catches and a run out) contributed to Diss’ effort.
Chasing 138 for victory, Diss’ openers Williamson and Cooper put on 22 for the first wicket, before Williamson (13) was caught off Alexander Haverson (1-30) to a good low catch.
Cooper had a life on 8, as he was dropped, and Lowestoft would live to regret that, as he began to find his touch and accelerate the run chase.
Diss briefly wobbled again after Brice (2-7) trapped David Tooke lbw for 8 and bowled Lewis Taylor (0), leaving the away side 57-3, with a further 81 required to wrap up the win.
However, Robert Tooke and Cooper sensibly steered Diss towards the finishing line, until thunderous hitting from both made sure the game came to a prompt end.
Cooper hit three huge sixes, including a square six that nearly went over the wall towards the seafront.
He passed his half century and then ruthlessly punished the Lowestoft bowlers, including taking 20 runs off one over.
Robert Tooke also played his part, including a flat straight six into the Lowestoft sightscreen.
Cooper hit the winning runs to wrap up the victory, and finish unbeaten on 90 from just 69 balls, while his partner ended on 25 to continue his good season with the bat.
Tomorrow, Williamson and his men will welcome fifth-placed Bradfield to Rectory Meadow.