Bury St Edmunds notch first victory despite a dramatic batting collapse against Norwich
- Credit: Archant
Not for the first time this season, Bury St Edmunds were involved in a remarkable game of cricket, but Saturday’s fluctuating fixture finally ended in a long-awaited first victory of the season in the East Anglian Premier League.
Bury celebrated a nail-biting one-wicket win over visiting Norwich, at the Victory Ground, despite construing to lose five wickets without the addition of a run, during their bid for a first win in 10 matches.
Chasing a target for 230 for victory, bottom club Bury looked on course for a comfortable victory when progressing to 222 for four, with overseas star Daron Cruickshank and the experienced Mark Nunn at the crease.
But Cruickshank’s dismissal, for 99, prompted a dramatic batting collapse – a common occurrence this season – to leave the hosts suddenly staring at what would been a soul-destroying defeat. Bury crashed from 222 for four, to 222 for nine, all-rounder William O’Donnell taking four of the five quickfire wickets to fall.
However, having just failed to beat Vauxhall Mallards in the previous weekend’s draw, due to another batting collapse, Bury kept their cool on Saturday to seal victory. The last pair of James McKinney and Charlie Cook scrambled home in unconventional style to guide Bury to 231 for nine, achieving victory at the end of the 52nd over.
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Ironically, the winning runs did not come off the bat.
Instead, No. 11 Cook, having survived a second successive appeal against him, saw his side home by dint of four leg byes.
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Earlier Bury, with stand-in captain Sean Cooper having won the toss and elected to field, were held up by a very impressive century from O’Donnell.
The South African dominated Norwich’s total of 229, scoring 114 off 204 balls in a patient knock, although he did strike three sixes.
O’Donnell and William Kennard (41) put on 103 for the fourth wicket, before both men fell victim to Nunn. Bury’s opening bowler had figures of 18-3-76-3, while Cruickshank took three for 68.
Youngsters Alfie Marston (42) and James Sturgeon (19) gave Bury a good start to their reply, and Cruickshank’s terrific 99 off 109 balls, including three sixes and 10 fours, seemed to have won it for the hosts. The West Indian’s departure caused panic in Bury’s ranks, with Nunn and skipper Cooper soon following.
But, this time, Bury had the last laugh.