County League: Thorpe Arnold CC fight back to extend lead

Mark Carnell guided Thorpe to victory with an unbeaten 50 EMN-190716-094928002
Mark Carnell guided Thorpe to victory with an unbeaten 50 EMN-190716-094928002
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A lower-order fightback with the bat and Joe Anderson’s five-wicket haul helped Thorpe Arnold extend their lead at the top of Division Two.

A 26-run win over Ashby Hastings, combined with Kirby Muxloe’s home defeat, took Thorpe 37 points clear with their 10th victory of the season.

Sam Pollard (left) and Tim Hirst laid the platform for a defendable target EMN-190716-094917002

Sam Pollard (left) and Tim Hirst laid the platform for a defendable target EMN-190716-094917002

Facing one of the better teams in the league, Thorpe lost the toss and were asked to bat on a new wicket and in humid conditions.

It was always going be difficult early on and so it proved against a good opening Ashby attack which reduced Thorpe to 10-3 after two overs.

Mark Carnell and Charlie Read got Thorpe back in the game by batting cleverly to stop the ball swinging, and added 50 runs in 11 overs until Read went for 17 and Carnell for 20.

The hosts quickly lost another two wickets and looked to be in trouble again until Sam Pollard was joined by Tim Hirst.

Pollard went onto the attack and scored a quick 31, while Hirst steadily built his innings.

When Pollard was out, Hirst looked for someone to stay with him and found the support in Lewis Postle as they put on a vitally important 60 runs.

After Postle fell for 17, Hirst went on to make 47, lifting Thorpe to a respectable 166.

Mark Starkey and Myles Hickman opened the bowling for Thorpe, but with the ball not swinging a breakthrough proved difficult.

Starkey finally took a wicket when the opener hit a delivery straight to Hickman at short cover.

He then grabbed two more wickets, but with the Ashby opener still at the crease, the game was in the balance.

Hirst and Garner bowled tight overs, but it was the introduction of Joe Anderson that changed the game.

Anderson got the ball popping off a length and enticed the opener to chop onto his own stumps.

With Hickman back on at the other end and now finding his length, Anderson completed a five-wicket haul as Pollard caught the ball on the boundary to bowl out the visitors for 138.

An excellent team performance after having the worse of the conditions.

Thorpe travel to in-form Sileby on Saturday, but with more players available.

Thorpe: M. Starkey 4, M. Hickman 4, R. Garner 0, C. Read 17, R. Randall 2, L. Perry 0, S. Pollard 31, T. Hirst 47, L. Postle 17, J. Anderson 1*, Extras 31. Total: 164.

Ashby Hastings: 138.

Bowling: M. Hickman 11-1-27-2; M. Starkey 8-1-39-3; T. Hirst 8-1-25-0; L. Postle 1-0-8-0; J. Anderson 8.2-0-30-5; R. Garner 3-0-8-0.