Diss turn on the power against leaders
- Credit: Archant
Diss turned on the style in brilliant sunshine at Rectory Meadow to condemn Norfolk Alliance Premier Division leaders Fakenham to their first defeat of the season.
With Phil Squire losing the toss Diss were invited to bat first and the opening pairing of Wilby and Simon Cooper started confidently. After a flamboyant 19 Wilby was the first to go with the score on 34. David Tooke came and went for a duck and this brought Cooper and the captain together. The pair played beautifully, rotating the strike, running well and dispatching any loose bowling with the minimum of fuss.
The partnership wasn't broken until the 31st over, and some 124 runs later, as Cooper went for a delightful 75, Squire was next to fall for a vital 60, caught behind off the bowling of Marshall.
With just 15 overs to bat the scene was set perfectly for Diss' explosive middle order. It wasn't to be for Rob Tooke, though, as the all-rounder attempted a suicidal run and was sent on his way for 10. Chris Cooper (38) now had the task of shepherding the lower order to a winning total, and he did so magnificently as Chenery (11), Dawson (1), and Davey (11) all came and went in the search for late runs. Cooper succumbed to an astonishing caught and bowled in the 46th over, which left Pierce Fletcher and Robbie West to see out the final few overs in admirable style as Diss finished on an imposing 261 for nine.
At the halfway stage the match was far from over; Diss being well aware that Fakenham weren't undefeated for nothing. However, neither side surely expected the unbelievable spell of fast bowling that was to follow by Robbie West.
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As Fletcher kept runs down from one end West tore the heart out of Fakenham's batting line-up with one of the best spells of seam and swing bowling the Rectory Meadow has seen for quite some years. West finished his 13 over spell with five wickets for 37 runs. Fakenham were reeling on 86 for five, and batting for a draw before they knew it.
With the wicket offering assistance to the spin bowlers Chris Cooper and Rob Tooke's got in on the action, sharing a further four wickets, three of which fell to Cooper, aided by some lovely slip catching from brother Simon.
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A resolute last stand was eventual broken after Tom Davey was tossed the old ball. The left-arm seamer managed to induce the faintest of edges from the bat of Spenceley, with David Tooke completing the necessities behind the stumps.
The following day Diss bowed out of the Carter Cup at the quarter-final stage when they were beaten at home by Brooke, who sealed a maiden semi-final appearance.
The hosts – looking to build on their win over Fakenham – were dismissed for 222 with Tom Nudd (3-36) and the visitors' player-coach Mike Jones (3-45) making the biggest inroads with the ball.
Rob Panter's 68 set Brooke on the road to victory and the in-form Jones (69 not out) and Ed Sturman (35 not out) eventually got their troops over the line for the loss of just three wickets.
Diss are away to Downham Town on Saturday.