Pickering powers to unbeaten 73

Tipton’s confident return to winning ways was confirmed by a comfortable victory over Dorset tourists Sixpenny Handley, writes David Birch.

The success was built on a superb first wicket partnership of 150 by Dave Dawson and Robin Pickering, which was characterised by excellent running between the wickets. Dawson, always better when he bats positively, set the tone with a six in the second over; the scoring rate didn’t drop below five an over until a sharp shower made batting more difficult.

When Dawson departed for an aggressive 71, Justin Quick joined Pickering to raise the tempo again with a lightning 27 from 19 balls. It is unusual for Phil Tolley to arrive at the crease with four overs remaining, but he made the most of every ball he faced to post 20 not out as Pickering finished on a fine, well-paced 73 not out with Tipton’s innings closing on 222-2.

The visitors started well and had reached 51 when Quick took a superb tumbling catch to dismiss Clark off Steve Shaw. The remaining opener, Goodwin, tried to maintain the momentum but moved down the wicket once too often and was comfortably caught off a leading edge at extra cover by Tolley off skipper David Birch.

Birch followed up with two more wickets in the same over, both clean bowled, to reduce Sixpenny Handley to 64-4 and leave Tipton well in control. Phil Wright induced the visitors’ skipper Nodder to sky a catch to Tom Birch, who followed up with a wicket of his own, clipping the tip of Creffield’s off stump with a leg-break.

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Dave O’Higgins, now happily restored after injury, bowled well but with little luck particularly against number 3 Goodliffe, who held the tourists’ innings together with an unbeaten 58. The last wicket to fall was that of Spendley, who had joined Goodliffe to offer some stubborn resistance, bowled by the returning David Birch who finished with figures of 4-22 from 8 overs.

The innings finally ended on 168-8, leaving Tipton worthy winners by 54 runs.

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