Pace ace Norwell finds top form to hit Potterne for six
A STUNNING blast from County pro Liam Norwell helped set up Cheltenham's fifth victory of the season in an action-packed match at The Grove.
Gloucestershire pace man Norwell took six for 12 in nine overs to reduce Potterne to 37 for eight and seemingly make the game safe.
Winning the toss on a firm, dry pitch Will Simmons chose to bat and Cheltenham got off to a great start through Gareth Roderick and Mike Kelly who put on 107 for the first wicket in 17 overs.
Roderick (68) was then run out by the smallest possible margin after Dylan Higgins swooped on the ball at short extra cover and scored a direct hit. Kelly (49) followed shortly afterwards, well held at mid wicket.
NEW PROMOTIONS put out each calender month! Dont miss out!
Terms: Terms and conditions are when order is complete in full 5% discount will be given with this voucher!
Contact: 01452 223149
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
Cheltenham then lost their way, as a succession of batsmen made double figures and then got out. Their progress was further hampered when Alex Butler received a nasty blow to the abdomen and was forced to retire injured.
Norwell hit a lusty 19 from 21 balls to pick up the pace and Cheltenham finished on 227 for nine after their 50 overs, which seemed to be no more than par on a good wicket with short boundaries.
But Norwell's extra pace proved to be decisive – Matt Cull and Chris Penhaligon were caught behind, Neil Clark skied a pull to square leg and when Paul Clark missed a full toss from Patrick Parkin, Potterne were nine for four after just three overs.
The Higgins brothers attempted a recovery, but after they had put on 22 for the fifth wicket, Dylan Higgins gave Roderick his third catch behind the stumps and triggered another collapse.
Norwell bowled George Penfold and Adi Rai, Ryan Higgins was well held on the long off boundary by Ben McHardie-Jones off Kelly and Potterne had crashed to 37 for eight.
Tom Driver and Jack Bramwell took the score to 49-8 after 18 overs when the weather, which had been threatening all afternoon, intervened.
With the sky still looking ominous and 30 overs required to constitute a game, Driver and Bramwell defended staunchly in the hope that further rain would abandon the match.
Only 22 runs were scored in this period, but the rain stayed away. With 12 overs remaining, Potterne needed 120 to win.
With the score on 68, Bramwell (13) was stumped off McHardie-Jones. The last wicket pair of Driver and Jake Roberts then led an assault which took Potterne to the brink of an audacious victory.
Roberts hit five sixes and six fours and supported by Driver took the score to 164 in the 39th over.
With 27 required for victory off the last three overs Roberts pulled Parkin to deep square leg where Norwell completed an excellent day by diving forward to hold a good catch and a relieved Cheltenham side had won a thrilling game by 26 runs.