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Sawston & Babraham making winning start to life in Read Brothers East Anglian Premier League

Dougie Rice was the top scorer for Cambridge. Picture: Mark Bullimore
Dougie Rice was the top scorer for Cambridge. Picture: Mark Bullimore

Sawston & Babraham did not let the rain dampen their spirits in their first Read Brothers East Anglian Premier League match, earning a reduced-overs victory over Saffron Walden.

They have been made to wait after winning promotion last season, and had warmed up with three friendly defeats, including against Walden at the Anglo American Sports Field.

With an indifferent weather forecast, Sawston & Babraham captain Heath won the toss and elected to field.

Youngsters Harry Gallian and Nikhil Gorantla opened for Walden, having eased them to victory two weeks previously.

James Van De Peer removed Gallian in his first over, and the second of the innings, and then Tim Moses ousted Gorantla to leave Walden on 10 for 2.

The hosts recovered to 45 for 2, Jack Sneath (19) and former Sawston wicketkeeper Ali Russell (22) leading the way until the introduction of Sawston & Babraham’s 2019 bowler of the year Mark Smith.

It had an almost instant reward with the removal of Sneath with his second delivery, and Finn Karston fell to the third ball of the next over to leave Walden on 46 for 4.

The spin of Callum Guest was introduced, and he picked up a wicket in his first over, with Heath stumping Russell.

Alex Sears made 44 off 39 balls, including four sixes, to move Walden on from 69 for 5 to 127 for 7 by the time he was dismissed by George Darlow.

Moses returned to remove the dangerous home skipper Ben Harris before Ryan Deamer and Jack Ormsby added a stubborn 20 runs.

Spin twins Guest (three for 20) and Darlow (three for 23) returned to close out the Walden innings on 145.

In reply, a tremendous opening spell from the impressive Ali Hancock (2-15) had the visitors in early trouble at 21 for 2 before Charlie Lewis (21 not out) and Callum Guest (24 not out) had steered them to 58 for 2.

A heavy downpour ended any hopes of further play, but Sawston & Babraham had got to the point where Duckworth Lewis had kicked in, and they were able to claim victory and the 25 points.

Cambridge secured a five-wicket win at Horsford in a rain-affected match.

The Norfolk side won the toss and elected to bat, and there was an early breakthrough for Cambridge with the wicket of Sam Clabburn for five, with the score at 11 for 1.

But Jason Reynolds and Will Rogers powered the score forward.

Reynolds made 119 from 138 balls and with Rogers making 83 off 107, they put on 198 for the second wicket before Rogers was caught by Zaheer Hussain off the bowling of Lewys Hill.

Horsford ended up reaching 292 for 5 at the end of their 50 overs.

The first-wicket partnership of Nick Taylor and Dougie Rice was crucial for Cambridge.

They put on 132 before Rice fell for 72, off 67.

A quick knock of 45 not out, off 49, by Daminda Ranaweera helped Cambridge to 226 for 5 off 40 overs when rain stopped play chasing a revised target of 280 from 47 overs, giving them the win by DLS.

Burwell & Exning suffered a 273-run defeat to Swardeston.

They may have been rueing the decision to field first as opener Jordan Taylor made 126 off 119 and Joe Gatting contributed 115 off 106 to help Swardeston to 370 for 8 off 50 overs.

Jay Ghelani was the pick of the bowlers with three for 85.

Burwell & Exning struggled to get going in reply, with Tom Griffiths top-scoring with 32, and they were on 97 for 3 when rain stopped play.

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