All-rounder Brock Price and Josh Davey help Hadleigh to an exciting win in Two Counties Championship
Hadleigh recorded an exciting four-wicket victory over Mistley in a match that went to the penultimate ball at Friars Road, in a Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship Division One fixture on Saturday.
The Suffolk hosts had all-rounder Brock Price to thank for an impressive individual performance, with the ball as well as the bat.
Bottom club Mistley, the only side not to win one of their first three matches, won the toss and posted a good total of 252 for nine off their 50 overs, helped by a solid 62 from wicketkeeper Graham Butcher at the top of the innings.
Butcher put on 78 for the third wicket with James Stamatis, who struck nine boundaries in a swift 47 off 36 deliveries before he became one of Price’s three victims (three for 55 off 10 overs).
Butcher was eventually fifth out with the score on 184, having faced 110 balls in his patient knock, and useful cameos from Adrian Stockton (33) and a run-a-ball 32 from Matthew Bibby saw Mistley get beyond the 250-mark.
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Bruce Leeke removed both Marlon Dias (7) and Callum Morrin (12) early on in Hadleigh’s reply, but the Suffolk hosts then took charge with Price and an in-form Josh Davey sharing a third wicket stand worth 126.
Opener Price scored a majestic century, hitting three sixes and 13 fours in his innings of 106 off 118 balls. He and Davey had taken the total up to 181 for two when Price was dismissed.
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Davey remained at the crease until late in the innings, but the run-chase was really on with the game in the balance until captain Ben Wallis struck two sixes in the penultimate over. There was a late twist when Davey (76) was caught by Bibby in the covers off James Scott, off the third last ball of the innings.
But the incoming Kyle Tanner hit his first ball for four to secure victory, with captain Wallis having contributed a vital 19 not out off eight balls.
It was a good way for Hadleigh to bounce back from losing at Frinton 2nds the previous weekend. They had won their opening fixture against Haverhill.
Wallis said: “Brock (Price) put us in a winning position, with the ball and the bat, while Josh Davey has started making some big scores.
“It was an exciting end to the match, and I’m happy with the way we have started the season. We wanted to get points on the board early, which is something we didn’t manage last season,” added Wallis.
Only two clubs in Division One still have a 100% record, after the first three weekends.
Woolpit, relegated from the East Anglian Premier League last season, followed up their wins over Witham and Haverhill with a resounding 133-run victory at home to Frinton 2nds.
Captain Will Parker led from the front with an excellent 73, during an opening stand of 117 with the fluent Jack Rowett, who struck 10 fours in his knock of 64, but Woolpit were indebted to a terrific late flurry of runs from James Holmes to get the total up to a formidable 347 for four off 50 overs. The hard-hitting Holmes bossed a match-winning unbeaten stand of 170 for the fifth wicket with Tom Whiteman, who finished 51 not out.
Holmes clubbed a remarkable seven sixes and 15 boundaries in a crushing innings of 121 not out, all achieved off just 52 deliveries.
Alex Price scored a century himself, opening the batting in Frinton’s reply, although the Essex club not surprisingly fell well short of their target. Price hit 17 fours and a six in his 108, before he was the seventh wicket to fall with the score on 187. The visitors finished on 214 for eight.
Worlington are the only other unbeaten side in Division One, after James Watson celebrated a century in their comfortable win over Elmstead by 88 runs.
Elmstead captain Aidan O’Brien won the toss and opted to field, and opening bowler Ashan Athurkoralage responded by taking four early wickets to leave the hosts floundering on 38 for four. Athurkoralage finished with figures of 10-1-28-5.
However, Watson and Daren Hayward turned the match around with a superb stand of 135 for the fifth wicket. Hayward collected 11 fours and a six in his knock of 72, while Watson went on to score 132, including five sixes, to boost Worlington’s final total to 285 all out off exactly 50 overs.
In reply, Dan White hit 69 at No. 5, but Elmstead later slumped from a promising 104 for three to 119 for seven, and the loss of those four wickets for just 15 runs ended their challenge. White was the final wicket to fall, while Graham Downey was the pick of Worlington’s bowlers with four for 34 off his 10 overs.