Thorpe Arnold CC skipper recalls bizarre game as visitors bowled out for 7

Paceman Myles Hickman has started the new season as he finished the last
Paceman Myles Hickman has started the new season as he finished the last
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Thorpe Arnold took their place in the county league record books when they blew away Countesthorpe for just SEVEN runs on Saturday.

It took the home side just two bowlers and 10 overs to dismiss the hapless visitors and seal a huge 206-run win.

Myles Hickman (left) and James Pepperdine dismantled the Countesthorpe innings EMN-190705-160123002

Myles Hickman (left) and James Pepperdine dismantled the Countesthorpe innings EMN-190705-160123002

The result maintained Thorpe’s 100 per cent start to the season in Division Two.

It has been inspired by a deadly attack, spearheaded by strike bowlers Myles Hickman and James Pepperdine.

“It was bizarre,” said First XI captain Rich Randall.

“We had them six down for three runs and set ourselves a target of getting them out for 13 to win by 200.

“We were only half-joking - we didn’t expect anything like seven.

“You expect a few people to throw the bat a bit and get a few streaky runs, but it never materialised.

“I don’t think the pitch had anything in it, there was more of a slow outfield than any issues with the wicket.”

Little seemed amiss as Hickman and Pepperdine did their usual warm-ups after Thorpe had battled their way to 213-8, largely thanks to Dom Exton’s 94.

But Hickman bowled opener William Buckley first ball with a vicious inswinging yorker and carnage then ensued.

The two bowlers shared the top four wickets before Hickman took the next three to complete a rapid five-for, at the cost of just two runs.

Hickman (22), who began his career as a junior at Thorpe, said: “It was a combination of great bowling and poor batting.

“The pitch was quite quick which helped me and Peps swings the ball a lot and had the wind in his favour which made him almost unplayable.

“I said to James after two wickets went down, this could be 21 all out here, I had no idea it would be seven.

“Normally with the pace I bowl, most of the runs come from edges off me, but on Saturday anything that did get an edge went to hand.”

Pepperdine capped a surreal afternoon in fitting fashion by ending the Countesthorpe innings with a hat-trick with the final three balls of his fifth over.

Remarkably his final figures of five wickets for four runs were second-best.

When the dust had settled, the scorecard recorded six ducks and a top score of two from Countesthorpe number three Simon Garrard.

Randall believes his side have a strong chance of promotion.

“We have the best opening bowlers in the league in my opinion so if we get 250 on the board we have always got a very good chance of winning.

“We set ourselves the aim of trying to be champions and if we can keep a settled side there’s no reason why we can’t achieve our goals.”

In Thorpe’s other two games, Broomleys were blown away for 55, while Loughborough lasted just 31 overs.

Hickman added: “We have both bowled in the Premier, as has Kingsley (Miller).

“Even last season we were pretty dominant, it was just the batting that normally let us down, but this year the batsmen have turned up as well.”