Tooke shines with both bat and ball as Diss beat leaders to take over at the top
- Credit: Ian Burt
Diss beat morning leaders Thetford by 31 runs to secure their fourth win in five games and move to the top of Norfolk Alliance Division One.
Skipper Mark Williamson lost the toss again and his side were asked to bat first.
Williamson and Chris Cooper got them off to a solid start, seeing off opening bowlers Greyson (0-37) and Hills (2-53) to reach 55-0 after 10 overs. However, Cooper was soon caught behind off J Baulch (4-28) for 44.
That sparked a flurry of Diss wickets, as Barnaby Chenery (5), Williamson (16) and David Tooke (4) were all dismissed, seeing the hosts slump to 79-4. That brought the in-form Robert Tooke to the crease and he helped rebuild the innings along with James Wilby.
When Wilby fell to L Conroy (3-34) for 16, David Cokeley (26 not out) backed up Tooke and the pair put on over 50 to help steer Diss to a competitive total. Tooke passed his fourth consecutive half century before falling for a vital 56.
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Sam Hunt (0), Dan Taylor (2) and James Hardy (5) all followed cheaply as Diss were bowled out for 202 in 44.4 overs.
Diss knew that early wickets would prove crucial and opening bowlers Taylor (1-36) and Cooper (1-24) got Javaid (0) and L. Conroy (2) respectively.
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Thetford recovered to reach 53-2 after 16 overs but the introduction of Hardy (1-24) into the attack immediately brought a wicket, as he took a good catch of his own bowling to dismiss Iqbal (10).
Thetford pushed on and found themselves 98-3 at the halfway stage of the innings. The game was in the away side's hands until R Conroy, who had batted well, was stumped off Robert Tooke for 49 to give Diss a lifeline.
C Baulch continued to hit boundaries and brought up his half century but was then bowled by Tooke for 53, leaving Thetford requiring just over 50 to win.
Those dismissals caused a dramatic turnaround for Diss, who felt the game might be slipping away from them. Thetford lost their last five wickets for just over 20 runs, thanks to good bowling from Williamson (2-23) and star-man Tooke (4-31).
Overall, the quartet of Diss spinners took 8-102 in 34.4 overs, showing it was definitely a day for the slow bowlers. The last man out was Greyson (3), who was run out by Wilby, which left Thetford 171 all out after 44.4 overs,
Diss make the long trip to Stow on Saturday.