MARKET Overton chased down a massive target to beat promotion rivals Ufford Park and give their title bid a huge boost in division two of the Rutland League on Sunday.
At the start of the season Marko players maintained that they would need another year before being ready for the first division – but they have funny way of showing it.
On Sunday Market Overton allowed Ufford Park, who are no slouches themselves, to score an impressive 264-5 off 45 overs and still reined them in with five overs to spare.
The result lifts Marko to second, just five points behind the leaders Nassington, and captain Mark Hudson is already looking forward a race for the title.
He said: “I must admit after winning the toss and electing to bowl first and watching Ufford’s Batsmen amass 264 runs, I knew it would be difficult to win.
“However, I have great faith in our batting line-up and with the ever-impressive Munton and the improving Chell supporting Makwana, who is in the form of his life, I am confident we can mount a serious attack on the Division Two title.”
Hudson felt his side had a much better bowling attack than batting line-up on paper so decided to bowl first. But Ufford made a good, if steady start, scoring 38 off the first 7 overs. But as their confidence grew they soon began to increase the run rate.
“Even though we tried to keep rotating the attack we found it hard to take wickets,” said Hudson.
Pick of the Marko bowlers were Paul Thwaites, Brian Makwana and Michael Roberts who bowled well but couldn’t stop Ufford finishing their 45 overs on 264-5 with opener John Collen contributing 111.
Marko made a poor start to their innings losing Mark Owen and Stuart Rose with just 18 on the board. But that brought Marko talisman Brian Makwana to the crease and he made his intentions clear by hitting his first ball for for and pummelling five consecutive boundaries off the next over.
Makwana was well supported by John Chell, and when he was dismissed for 26 with the score on 62-3, Darren Munton entered the fray.
With Munton playing his typical style of attacking cricket, he joined Makwana in dispatching the Ufford bowling attack to all parts of the ground and the pair put on more than 100 runs for the fourth wicket partnership.
When Munton was caught out for 60, the score had raced to 177 off just 27 overs. With some Twenty20-style hitting from Thwaites (20) and Roberts (28no) the pressure was off Makwana, who completed his second century of the season, finishing on 110 not out with five overs to spare.
Makwana has been impressive this season and currently has got an average of 230 per wicket.
l It was a good weekend all round for Market Overton, whose 2nd team notched up a great win against Ufford’s 2nds.
Marko 2nds made 188 with Martin Thwaites scoring 45, Tom Goodliffe hitting an unbeaten 41 and Jamie Palmer holding the inning’s together very maturely with 17 in the middle order.
They then bowled out Ufford for 132 with Shane Wellbourne taking four wickets. He was well supported by the other bowlers with Martin Thwaites taking 2 for 15 off his 10 overs.