Baigent produces a five-star display to see off strugglers

TOP MAN: Lakenheath's Shane Leech hitting out in the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship Division Two victory over Sudbury II on Saturday. Leech top-scored with 65 as Lakenheath reached 237-8 in their allotted overs, and then restricted Sudbury to 118, winning by 119 runs
TOP MAN: Lakenheath's Shane Leech hitting out in the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship Division Two victory over Sudbury II on Saturday. Leech top-scored with 65 as Lakenheath reached 237-8 in their allotted overs, and then restricted Sudbury to 118, winning by 119 runs

MARSHALL HATCHICK TWO COUNTIES CRICKET

CHAMPIONSHIP

DIVISION TWO

Exning 156-7 beat Kelvedon and Feering 143 by 13 runs

This was a crucial second victory of the season for Exning, with six second-team players drafted in against the bottom club.

Being asked to take first knock was not to Exning’s liking, but with Simon Lawson (38) and Kris Judge (19) getting their team off to a steady start with 57 for the first wicket, there was a basis for optimism.

Gavin Jones (24) and Daniel Baigent (31) batted with extreme care, but did hit the occasional boundary as the slow bowling pair of Ed Smith (1-45) and skipper, Tris Peperell (4-46) wheeled away in unison for 30 overs.

The lower order did their bit in getting the score up to a third batting point, while at the same time not throwing wickets away, as the tea break came with Exning having posted 156-7.

Exning took the brave decision of opening the bowling with 14-year-old spinner, Oakley Colby, in support of the pace of Baigent, with the gamble working to perfection in the fourth over. Pat Ahearn, playing back to a full-pitched ball from Colby, was trapped lbw with 16 runs on the board.

Baigent continued to bowl with some venom, James Grimley nicking one behind to Gavin Jones (31-2), and then Baigent was perhaps somewhat fortunate to win an lbw decision to see the end of Tom Potter (41-3).

Ed Smith (35) was batting quite confidently, and when he was joined by Tim Smith, the runs began to flow freely until Ed Smith was beaten by an inspired piece of fielding from Kris Judge, running him out with a direct hit on the non striker’s stumps from 30 yards out (75-4).

Tim Smith (35) hit a succession of boundaries, but a change of ends for Simon Lawson, together with the return of Baigent turned the game in Exning’s favour.

Tim Smith was being well supported by Rob Morrell (19), but Lawson induced a nick from Morrell to give Jones a sharp chance for the fifth wicket with the score on 111.

For a while Edward King’s shots evaded the deep set fielders, but at the other end, Tim Smith was thwarted in his efforts to push the score along, and he drove airily at Baigent to have his stumps shattered (131-6).

King (23) smacked Lawson for a six and a four to raise the total to 143. But that was as good as it got as the final four wickets fell in the space of eight balls.

King attempted one big hit too many to the deep long on boundary to be pouched by man of the match, Baigent, followed by Lawson diving for a spectacular caught and bowled to see the end of Clive Bennett (143-8).

Baigent steamed in for the kill. James Balfour and Tim Leftwich saw their stumps shattered to give Exning a hard-earned victory. Baigent finished with five for 33, supported by Simon Lawson (3-45).