DIPPLE & CONWAY OPTICIANS
Swardeston II 268 beat Old Buckenham 249 by 19 runs
Bucks travelled the short distance up the B1113 to The Common hoping to build upon their victory versus Fakenham last weekend.
The home side won the toss and elected to bat first, looking to make use of the flat Swardeston surface.
The opening partnership of Ruffell and Martin certainly did this as they regularly dispatched loose balls to the boundary, supplemented with an excess of extras by the Bucks’ openers.
The gloss was taking off the home side’s fast start when Ruffell (14 off 16 balls) was cleaned bowled by Lawrence.
Bucks hoped that with the wicket of the dangerous Ruffell they could stem the flow of runs, however neither Lawrence nor Lee could gain control and continued to leak extras on regular occurrences.
Even the introduction of Meredith and Holden yielded similar results as the seam quartet struggled to reproduce the disciplined bowling performance from the previous week, providing an extremely testing afternoon for skipper Perry.
Ultimately, it was the performance of the home side’s overseas batsman Daniel Poulten that proved to be the difference.
While wickets fell around him, the South African produced a calmly constructed innings that saw him end with 94 unbeaten runs to his name.
Even so, Bucks were more than happy with 269 runs to chase, rather than a score in excess of 300 which looked possible earlier within the day.
It was Perry and youngster Bint that started their team’s effort to chase the runs required to win the game.
However, Perry (14 off 26 balls) was cruelly caught down at third-man looking to accelerate his team’s early tempo off the bowling of Ruffell (1-31) in the eighth over, leaving his side 22-1.
Bint was joined by overseas player Deacon and the latter was the driving force in the Bucks chase as he brought up his maiden league fifty prior to the halfway point.
But, further disaster was to come about for Bucks as Deacon (51 off 57 balls) was dismissed in the 26th over and Heaney (12 off 9 balls) followed him back in the 30th over to identical dismissals.
Nevertheless, Bint was getting close to his second league half-century for Bucks first XI and he reached that milestone before departing for 63, leaving the away side 90 runs to chase from the last 10 overs.
There was a disappointing 22 runs from the next four overs and with wickets continuing to fall at regular intervals, it seemed that Bucks were going to fall short.
A swift knock of 24 from Jon Lee provided a little hope, but it was no surprise when the home side eventually wrapped up their victory.
It meant that Bucks collected just 10 points from the contest, having been made to pay for conceding 35 extras during the first innings.
n This Saturday, the Bucks will look to return to winning ways when they play host to Sprowston (1pm).
The visitors may well end up proving to be tough opposition, having finished as runners-up to Fakenham last season.
In their one fixture to date in 2016, they beat Downham Town by two wickets, which places them third in the table.