Tough day but Cooper shines for Diss

Not for the first time this year Diss CC first team suffered a frustrating afternoon with the opposition overseas professional once again the chief scourge.

They gained eight points for a draw with Norwich and Coltishall Wanderers, who got 17, in the Alliance Premier Division.

Diss came up 55 runs short of Norwich and Coltishall's formidable total of 253, which was fuelled by a hard-hitting hundred from New Zealander, Ben Christensen.

Chris Cooper's return to form with both bat and ball was the main positive Diss took from the game, and in the process sealed the hard-hitting all-rounder the man-of-the-match accolade.

Simon Cooper won the toss, and decided to give his depleted seam attack a go at the visitors' batting line-up. But Diss' attack was so light it meant part-time spinner Mark Williamson had to open the bowling with his captain.

Williamson bowled with excellent control in his opening spell and along with Cooper and a buoyant fielding unit kept Wanderers' openers tied down without finding the breakthrough.

Diss' big moment came and went in the 10th over as Williamson, with the pressure getting to him, let the simplest of run-out opportunities slip through his fingers; a mistake that Diss would ultimately rue.

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The introduction of Chris Cooper saw Diss register their first wicket, as Williamson, looking to make amends, plucked a simply fantastic catch at cover to dismiss A Ponder for 36.

Two more quick wickets fell to Cooper as Spinks took the first of his four catches, and Tom Weal kept hold of the faintest of edges.

With Wanderers on 103 for three with 20 overs remaining Diss were looking to restrict their total to around the 200 mark, which would have set up a very intriguing chase.

Unfortunately Diss capitulated in the final 10 overs which cost them almost one hundred runs.

As Christensen sailed past his hundred the New Zealander set about bludgeoning the returning Williamson and Simon Cooper, taking a particular liking to the captain's tasty leg-stump line.

Williamson and Cooper picked up a few more wickets between them, thanks in no small part to the superb out-fielding of Ben Spinks, but it was too late to have a bearing on Norwich and Coltishall's final score of 253 for nine.

In response Diss started poorly as Ben Spinks (4) perished as he was caught off a leading edge. A fine 80 run stand followed, between the sluggish David Tooke (22), and James Wilby (57) who was full of confidence after last week's cup heroics.

Unfortunately the pair fell within quick succession, and with Will Dawson offering little resistance at number four Diss had slumped to 103 for four.

An injured Rob Tooke (20) bravely entered the fray at number five and with Simon Cooper (22) at the other end the pair played nicely, but with the required rate soaring it looked unlikely that Diss would be able to mount a challenge for the win.

With the game petering out to a draw, Chris Cooper injected some pace and excitement in his sparkling innings of 40, which included one enormous six. Unfortunately for Diss it was all too late as the hosts finished two runs short of another batting point on 198 for seven.