Thorpe Arnold opening bowlers dismiss Countesthorpe for seven

Myles Hickman (left) and James Pepperdine rescued Thorpe with an 86-run stand EMN-190705-160123002
Myles Hickman (left) and James Pepperdine rescued Thorpe with an 86-run stand EMN-190705-160123002
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Thorpe Arnold maintained their 100 per cent start in Division Two with the performance of the season to bowl their opponents out for just seven.

Opener bowlers Myles Hickman and James Pepperdine did all of the damage, both taking five-wicket hauls to skittle visitors Countesthorpe in only 10 overs.

Paceman Myles Hickman has started the new season as he finished the last EMN-190705-160146002

Paceman Myles Hickman has started the new season as he finished the last EMN-190705-160146002

The First XI welcomed mid-table Countesthorpe, and with the forecast rain having stayed away, the wicket looked pristine.

Captain Richard Randall lost another coin toss and Thorpe were put into bat.

Lewis Perry and Dom Exton opened and the former was soon back in the pavilion after leaving a straight one.

In-form Exton found it hard early on, but rotated the strike with singles to get his eye in before going on to play some extravagant shots throughout his innings.

Mark Starkey added a well-disciplined 27 but it was out immediately after play resumed following a brief rain delay.

Hickman joined Exton and looked in great control with two perfectly-timed cover drives early on.

He continued to control the tempo of the game until he nailed his sweep shot which was caught by a fantastic one-handed grab.

Sam Pollard punished the Countesthorpe spinners from the off, but was soon caught on the boundary for 33.

Adam Clarke was out for a duck and Jordan Hirst made a quick 11 before missing a straight one as Thorpe chased quick runs.

Captain Richard Randall nurtured a few quick singles to keep the scoreboard ticking, while Exton finished six runs short of a deserved century, having held the innings together as Thorpe posted 213-8.

The hosts came out to bowl with high expectations, and Hickman loosened up with an inswinging yorker to dismiss Countesthorpe’s opener first ball.

Pepperdine was next to join the early party when his seventh delivery was given LBW and then struck again when he snicked off the batsman and Hickman snaffled a great catch at second slip.

The next seven wickets fell rapidly with Pepperdine finishing the innings with a hat-trick to complete figures of 5 for 4, while Hickman claimed an equally astonishing 5 for 2.

Thorpe travel to newly-promoted Ashby on Saturday aiming to make it four wins from four.

* Thorpe Arnold Second XI also had a great day with the ball, with two more five-fors as they bowled out their hosts for just 45 to make it two wins from three.

Arriving at Leicester Banks, they discovered a very damp wicket which looked a bowler’s paradise, but much to the dismay of his team-mates, captain Carnell called wrongly and was duly asked to bat first.

The wicket proved to very slow with variable bounce, but several Thorpe batsmen got in only to then get out.

Hirst (40), Renwick (22), and Sibun (23) provided the notable scores as Thorpe were all out for just 128, but the visitors knew there was plenty in the wicket.

Kane Williams opened the bowling and with his very first ball the opener smashed the ball straight down Carnell’s throat at point.

Williams and Tim Hirst then bowled the best spell seen for a long time in the Second XI as they consistently took wickets without any batsman getting to grips with the conditions.

Williams finished with figures of 10-2-28-5, while Hirst finished with 9.2-3-17-5 as Banks were bowled out for 45 in the 20th over.

Thorpe host Division Five East leaders Countesthorpe Second XI on Saturday (1pm start) as they look to keep pace at the top end of the table.