CRICKET: NORTON Lindsey are one of three teams gunning for Premier Division title glory this year with only a handful of games remaining and 11 points separating the top sides.
And Norton strengthened their position in third place after wrapping up an emphatic victory at Tanworth and Camp Hill.
James Pyatt returned to skipper the first team following an operation. He won the toss and decided to bat first.
A soft pitch proved troublesome for Norton’s openers as Martin Perfect (9) and Steve Rushton (0) fell early to leave the score on 13-2 at the end of the fourth over.
Richard Pozzi (42) and Stuart Shephard (29) then grafted hard and pushed the score to 68 before the third wicket.
Further work by Conor Green (30) and Pyatt (50) dragged the numbers further towards respectability.
However the Norton captain was removed just before the break as the opening bowlers returned to finish their overs.
Three more wickets fell in the final balls including a run out, as Norton scrambled to 183/8.
The total was considered respectable by Norton, who decided to bowl tightly in the opening stages of Tanworth’s innings.
Norton fielded well, holding all catches, as they worked their way through the order with all the bowlers tasted success.
Pozzi started the rot with an unplayable delivery that removed the off stump of Tanworth opener Turnbull, and they never recovered.
The innings ended on 107 with Norton gaining a valuable two extra points for a sub-120 dismissal.
James Pyatt said: “The team did well with the bat on a tough pitch, with everyone chipping in.
“Same with the ball and it was great team performance.”
Norton host Leamington 3rd XI this week, confident that they can keep the pressure on at the top of the table.
At Wolverton Road, Division Three runaway leaders Dorridge and Hockley Heath arrived.
With Norton also pushing for promotion, the home team hoped to give the visitors a hard game.
Skipper Dan Fell (41) won the toss and asked to bat first, opening the innings with Mark White (28).
The pair succeeded in seeing off the new ball and had reached 72 in the 15th over when Fell was removed, trying to capitalize as change bowler Moeen struggled to settle.
Rory Baker (8) had a brief stay in the middle before being run out, and was replaced by Simon Hathaway (20).
Not long after, White sent a return catch to Singh, who was proving to be one of Dorridge’s most economical bowlers.
After an unusually short innings from James Robins (6), Hathaway found a good partner in Kieran Kite (27).
The middle order then gathered some momentum and drove the score towards up towards the 200 mark, with good contributions from Charles Tustain (33) and Ian Baber (22*).
Two quick wickets at the end of the innings left Norton on 201-9, giving the visitors an extra bowling point.
After tea, Waquas and Barker made a good start to the reply against tight spells from Steve Bliwert and Steve Webber.
They had reached 65 before they were separated by Kieran Kite in his first over, removing Barker for 21.
Tight bowling from Baker kept the scoring rate under control, conceding only 11 runs from his first spell of five overs.
As Dorridge reached three figures in the 25th, Tom de Freston dismissed opener Waquas for 58 to keep the pressure on.
Kite took his second wicket soon after, as Irfan went for 30, but Zaman (35*) and Singh (27) managed to keep up with required rate, putting pressure on all of Norton’s bowlers with an imaginative mixture of caution and outright slogging.
The visitors were almost home when Webber and Bliwert returned for their final spells. And within four overs, four wickets fell to leave them eight down and wobbling.
However, it was too little too late. No. 10 Satty swung the bat effectively in the gathering gloom, as Dorridge reached their target in the penultimate over.
Steve Webber was the most successful bowler, finishing with 3-38 off his ten overs.