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Walker spins Swardeston to the top of the league

PUBLISHED: 07:30 01 June 2010 | UPDATED: 16:58 01 July 2010

Phil Banyard

Great Witchingham saw their lead crumble at the hands of George Walker as Swardeston moved above them into top spot with an eight-wicket win at Walcis Park yesterday.

Great Witchingham saw their lead crumble at the hands of George Walker as Swardeston moved above them into top spot with an eight-wicket win at Walcis Park yesterday.

Norfolk left-arm spinner Walker destroyed the hosts' batting effort with outstanding figures of five for 19 from 17 overs as Witchingham were all out for 123.

After the fifth ball loss of skipper James Spelman, Carl Rogers (37) and James Hale (14) looked to have put the morning leaders back on track with a partnership of 60 for the second wicket. But Witchingham then lost four wickets for the addition of just nine runs as Walker tore out the middle order to bag his first five-wicket haul of the season in the league. Swardeston captain Mark Thomas also collected three wickets as the hosts were dismissed in the 52nd over.

Swardeston openers Will Rist and Daniel Martin effectively killed the game with an opening stand of 61 and Martin (57no) went on to record his first EAPL half-century as the visitors eased to victory in the 30th over.

Paul Wiseman's seven-wicket return was not quite enough for Norwich to clinch their first win of the season as Fakenham held out for a draw at Ingham.

Norwich were put into bat and needed a half-century from skipper Chris Borrett in order to post a competitive score. He fired 59 from 67 balls, including 12 fours, as Norwich were all out for 179, four wickets falling to Angus Stuart.

The Fakenham reply fell apart in the face of lively seam bowling from Wiseman and Aaron Watson and six of the top seven batsmen went without reaching double figures.

Stephen Gray held matters together with a patient 58 from 105 balls, before he became another victim for Wiseman, who also accounted for Fakenham skipper Sean Cooper (30). The hosts were left with 25 balls at the last pair of Stuart and Daniel Hubbard, but the duo held on gamely to secure a draw and stay just above Norwich in the table. Norwich go bottom after Halstead's seven-wicket win over Burwell.

Horsford rued a lack of runs as they were beaten by three wickets at Saffron Walden.

The visitors batted first and opener Matthew Warnes struck 58, but received little support as Horsford were all out for 128.

Walden opened with former England Test batsman Jason Gallian, but he had made just 18 before becoming one of five victims for young spinner Ryan Findlay.

The Northants Academy prospect did his best to get his side back into it with his second five-wicket haul of the season in the league, but Walden managed to complete victory with three balls to spare in the reduced-overs contest.

Champions Vauxhall Mallards are still struggling to find their best form after batting out for a draw at home to Clacton.

Mallards elected to bowl first, but their progress was held up by Danny Rock, who made 62 in Clacton's total of 220 for eight.

The hosts passed the century mark with only two wickets down but could not keep up with the required rate and after the departure of Carl Amos for 61, it was left to Richard Goodenough and Paul Bradshaw to bat through, Mallards finishing on 147 for six.

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