Knightley comes to rescue for Walden
Saffron Walden 162-6 Swardeston 249 AN EXEMPLARY performance with the bat from Charlie Knightley helped salvage a draw for Saffron Walden Cricket Club in their first home game of the season on Saturday. Facing a considerable target of 249 put on
Saffron Walden 162-6
AN EXEMPLARY performance with the bat from Charlie Knightley helped salvage a draw for Saffron Walden Cricket Club in their first home game of the season on Saturday.
Facing a considerable target of 249 put on by Swardeston CC it was unlikely that Saffron Walden would win the East Anglian Premier League match, but a commanding 68 not out from Knightley saw his side to safety.
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Captain Neil Gladwin won the toss and put the opposition into bat first on a damp wicket. Opening bowler Joe Barrs took the first wicket of James Walker on his way to an impressive 3-43 off 12 overs.
Pick of the bowlers for Walden was prodigious wicket-taker Tim Smith who used his medium-paced left arm to take 5-34 off 18 overs.
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The flat wicket proved a comfortable batting surface and Swardeston's top order were able to use it to their advantage. Peter Lambert hit 84 before eventually being bowled by Barrs.
Daniel Martin was caught LBW by Smith, but not before a knock of 43, and Richard Sims hit 30 before becoming Nick Batcheler's only wicket of the match.
With Saffron Walden coming into bat, Swardeston's spinners Jaden Hatwell (1-49) and George Walker (2-45) started to find some turn in the wicket.
Top order batsman Tom George (15), Smith (12), Giles Ecclestone (21) and Simon Parmenter (15) struggled against the spin and were unable to post the big scores needed to try and win the match.
Knightley steadied the ship with his innings of 68 runs off 110 balls and he saw out the overs with Barrs (2) to secure a draw.
Vice-captain Parmenter said: "I think we probably made it a bit harder on ourselves than we should have done, but the wicket didn't help us.
"Smith and Barrs bowled well and our spinner Stephen Larsen worked really hard, but probably didn't get the results he deserved.
"Swardeston were spinning the ball really well and our batsmen struggled with it. Charlie is really comfortable against spin and he played it really well."
Saffron Walden's next league match is away to Great Witchingham CC on Saturday, but with key players Smith and Ecclestone out of the line up, extra responsibility will be placed on their younger players.