12:04pm Monday 28th April 2014
By Ross McLean
SOUTH AFRICAN professional JP de Villiers proved the match-winner as Fleetwood exposed Netherfield’s early season batting woes to inflict a second successive defeat on the Parkside Road club.
De Villiers blasted five sixes in a top score of 66 as Fleetwood posted 179-9 from their 50-over allocation, as Saliya Saman and Nathan Chambers took four wickets apiece.
In reply, Brad Earl carried the Netherfield fight after de Villiers claimed three top-order wickets, with his gutsy 34 in vain as Marc Brown’s side were routed for only 111 in 37.5 overs.
Openers Dean Bell and Adam Parker progressed the Fleetwood score to 47 before the latter was caught in the covers by Brendan Herron off the bowling of Saman for 22 in the 13th over.
This breakthrough triggered a collapse as the home side lost five further wickets in the next 16.2 overs for the addition of just 36 runs.
Dean Bell was the next to go, caught behind by John Huck off Chambers for 24 before Saman – who bowled 17 overs unchanged – accounted for Naveed Yousaf in the next over.
Yousaf was caught in the gully by Ben Barrow for two while six overs later the Sri Lankan was at it again as Joe Bell was caught by Brown at long-off for eight.
Mark Clarkson claimed his first Netherfield wicket by bowling Mike Clinning for an eight-ball duck in his third over, while Chris Stanhope edged Saman behind for one in the 29th over.
At this stage, Fleetwood were reeling at 73-6, although de Villiers and captain Mat Clark set about repairing the damage and leading the hosts to a respectable total.
The pair shared a critical stand of 96 inside the next 19 overs, with de Villiers the main aggressor during his 93-ball 88, which included three consecutive sixes off Chambers.
However, Chambers had his revenge as the 25-year-old was caught on the long-off boundary by Barrow, with Clark bowled next ball by the right-arm seamer for a patient 40-ball 18.
Chambers bowled James Wilson in the final over with Josh Heaney and Lee Jones both unbeaten on four runs as Fleetwood set Netherfield a victory target of 180.
In reply, the visitors lost their first wicket with just nine runs on the board as Barrow was caught in the slips by de Villiers off Parker for three.
Failing to generate any form of momentum during their innings, de Villiers then took centre stage and dismissed Brown and Australian Ben Phillips in successive overs.
Brown was caught behind for 14 after taking a six off Parker, while Phillips was snared at gully by Wilson for five, with Netherfield 22-3 off 12.5 overs.
Making his first appearance of the summer, Huck made eight before being trapped in front by Parker while Saman was bowled for 20, as de Villiers returned figures of 3-26 from 12 overs.
Herron lasted seven balls before behind caught in the gully by Wilson off Parker – who posted 3-39 from 13 overs – as Netherfield lost wickets at regular intervals.
Matthew Goodall, Mark Clarkson and Chambers all fell cheaply as Heaney snatched three late wickets to end with figures of 3-27 from seven overs.
Earl was the mainstay of the Netherfield innings with a 56-ball 34, as James Wilson claimed the final wicket in his only over, leaving Ryan Wilson stranded on 13 not out.
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