Thorpe Arnold CC stay clear at top with Countesthorpe double

Thorpe Arnold CC First XI, from left, back - Lewis Perry, Mark Starkey, Jordan Hirst, Myles Hickman, James Pepperdine, Dan Pegg; front - Adam Clarke, Mark Carnell, Rich Randall, Sam Pollard, Lewis Postle EMN-190626-081409002
Thorpe Arnold CC First XI, from left, back - Lewis Perry, Mark Starkey, Jordan Hirst, Myles Hickman, James Pepperdine, Dan Pegg; front - Adam Clarke, Mark Carnell, Rich Randall, Sam Pollard, Lewis Postle EMN-190626-081409002
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Thorpe Arnold completed the double over Countesthorpe on Saturday to remain 24 points clear at the top of County League Division Two.

They came away with a comfortable eight-wicket win after a thoroughly professional performance in a game reduced to 34 overs a side.

Captain Rich Randall won the toss and asked the hosts to bat, despite the Countesthorpe wicket being, as always, full of runs.

With the pace of Myles Hickman causing everyone problems, and Dan Pegg keeping it tight at the other end, the batsmen tried to up the run rate after a steady start.

Hickman bounced out two of the top three batsmen, one thanks to an excellent catch at deep fine leg by Richard Garner.

Lewis Postle came on and bowled an excellent line and length, picking up two wickets as the batsmen again tried to accelerate the scoring.

Tim Hirst (2 for 33) and Mark Starkey (1 for 36) bowled the final overs as Countesthorpe posted 166.

Hickman and Starkey opened the batting for Thorpe’s reply and soon found the excellent wicket to their liking.

They hit the ball to all parts as they raced along at seven an over until Starkey was trapped lbw for 29.

Sam Pollard joined Hickman and the run rate increased as they both carried on their good form.

Pollard was out for 25, just before the total was reached in the 23rd over with Hickman hitting his second unbeaten century in as many weeks, finishing with 108 not out alongside Adam Clarke (4 not out).

Thorpe will look to put further pressure on their rivals and keep their good form going at home to Ashby Hastings on Saturday (1pm start).

Countesthorpe: 166-8.

Bowling: M. Hickman 8-1-30-3; D. Pegg 8-2-27-0; L. Postle 7-0-35-2; M. Starkey 5-9-36-1; T. Hirst 6-0-33-2.

Thorpe: M. Starkey 29, M. Hickman 108*, S. Pollard 25, A. Clarke 4*, Extras 5. Total: 171-2.