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Crunch time for Diss

PUBLISHED: 09:20 07 August 2008 | UPDATED: 10:36 12 July 2010

Chris Cooper during the Bradfield game.

Chris Cooper during the Bradfield game.

With only four games to go, Saturday's crunch match at Norwich could make or break the hopes Diss have of reaching the Premier Division and catching Brooke.

With only four games to go, Saturday's crunch match at Norwich could make or break the hopes Diss have of reaching the Premier Division and catching Brooke.

Last weekend, Diss came out on the wrong end of a bold decision by skipper Dave Tooke, in which he rightly chose to declare to give the team the possibility of beating a mediocre Bradfield.

The final result was that Diss (185-5 declared) lost to Bradfield (186-6) by four wickets.

However, their main promotion rivals Sprowston, Norwich and Bradenham also lost, and Diss actually extended their lead over third-placed Sprowston.

Losing the toss, Diss were sent into bat on an extremely lively wicket, with Liam Brown falling for a duck when he received a cracking delivery from opener Locke.

An aggressive partnership was then formed between Diss's two star batsmen of the season, James Wilby and Chris Cooper, and the pair put on a quickfire 65 until Cooper disappointingly chipped up to mid-wicket for 42. James Wilby fell soon after, being caught on 33.

The Tooke brothers, Robert and David, then steadied the ship with a 45-run partnership before an under-the-weather Robert was superbly caught and bowled by Yarham.

Will Dawson barely troubled the scorers as he became Yarham's fourth victim of the day.

In-form batsman Henry Rush then joined Tooke out in the middle and with the pair looking in good touch, they began to increase the tempo inside the last 10 overs until the 42nd over, when a sudden heavy storm fell on the ground.

In a bizarre scene of events after heavy rain, Bradfield declined to take the field deeming it unsafe.

With the umpires just minutes from calling the game off, captain Tooke offered his declaration, therefore putting Bradfield into bat, and Diss out on the wet outfield.

The umpires agreed, but the only twist was that league rules state that the declaring side then give their remaining overs to the batting side. Therefore Bradfield had 50 overs to chase Diss's target.

Knowing their promotion hunt might well hang in the balance if they lost, Diss set about keeping Bradfield from a flying start.

A fired-up Henry Rush started off with a wicket maiden, as he saw his third delivery clatter into Grapes' stumps. Abbs then came out all guns blazing and Diss could sense another wicket.

Opener Kimber looked in all sorts of bother, but somehow the pair put on 55 for the second wicket, before Abbs was brilliantly caught by James Wilby off Rob Tooke's bowling. Kimber fell just seven short of his fifty when Chris Cooper trapped him in front lbw. This was Cooper's only wicket of the day, but a mention has to be given for his overall figures of 13 overs, five maidens, one wicket for just 15 runs.

Another frustrating partnership formed, creeping Bradfield up to 100 when Bidewell holed out to a low catch to Wilby at long on, equally as impressive as his first.

Wilby himself then got a rare bowl and bowled Gray for 19. Simon Cooper was introduced, and had Reynolds caught and bowled for nine. With the game balancing on a knife edge, an innings from Yarham saw Bradfield home to victory deep into the overs they had gained from Diss declaration.

Able Taxi man of the match: Chris Cooper.


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