Wilby hits out for impressive century

DISS CC began their Lady Mary Cup campaign impressively with a convincing win over Dereham, with batsman James Wilby and bowler Mark Williamson starring.

Skipper Simon Cooper won the toss and elected to bat. The opening partnership of Wilby and Ben Spinks both found the boundary regularly against a very friendly bowling attack, with Wilby looking particularly assured, hitting the ball with great authority.

With both batsmen seeming at total ease and playing with much freedom, it wasn't until the 18th over that Dereham struck, when Spinks failing to kick on from a very bright start, got a leading edge and was well caught at mid-on for 44.

Will Dawson then joined a very belligerent Wilby, and from the off was looking full of confidence. The pair added 128 in 13 overs before Dawson retired, having played a wonderful innings of 54, full of elegance and timing.

Chris Cooper was now at the crease, and with the breathtaking Wilby now past his century and hitting the ball mercilessly to the boundary with consummate ease, just tried to give himself some time in the middle, but unfortunately lost patience on 10 and was well caught at long off.

With overs now running out, David Tooke immediately looked to score runs, and hit a quick-fire 26 off 13 balls, including one enormous six.

Wilby meanwhile was still there, passing a chanceless 150, in which his straight driving was impeccable, and he and Williamson managed to get Diss to a highly imposing 304, Wilby ending on a mammoth 162 not out from 102 balls in an innings that was amongst the best seen for many a year.

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A special mention to Neil Widdows, whose fielding for Dereham was highly impressive throughout.

In reply, Dereham knew they had little chance of getting the runs required, but both openers dealt comfortably with James Shepherd and Simon Cooper, picking off the bad balls and putting on 87 for the first wicket.

The introduction of David Tooke helped the run rate with his two overs costing a unacceptable 28. With Dereham now in with a slight sniff of victory, spinners Chris Cooper and the excellent Williamson were bowling, and it took a clever bit of fielding to get the breakthrough, as Williamson threw the ball through his legs for a direct hit to get rid of S Widdows for an impressive 40.

Soon after, Cooper had Lake well caught by Dawson for 48, who had a fantastic day behind the stumps.

With the pitch offering a lot to the slower bowlers, both found purchase, despite Cooper struggling at times with his length.

Williamson on the other hand was in his element, and picked up the next five wickets, ingeniously changing his pace to deceive all batsmen, and finished with astounding figures of 5-24.

Andy Tebble ran out Pledger with a bit of high-quality fielding, and Daniel Betts had the dangerous Neil Widdows, who was having to bat at nine due to an unfortunate injury, caught at slip by Chris Cooper for a duck, to wrap up a comprehensive win by 168 runs.