Cricketing legend Michael Holding watches on as Newmarket show great character to win home contest
With a fast bowling legend watching on, Newmarket (158) had to dig deep on more than one occasion to get the better of Waresley (146) by 12 runs at The Severals on Saturday.
Michael Holding – former West Indies cricketer who has long called Newmarket his home – was the club’s guest of honour on the day.
And he saw Newmarket battle back from being 19-5 with the bat, while at one point their visitors were 120-4 – just 39 runs short of victory.
However, it was the hosts that eventually ran out winners to keep up the pace with Blunham at the top of the Cambs & Hunts Whitings & Partners Division Two standings.
Captain Mark Nunn said: “It’s now four wins on the bounce, although it’s probably fair to say this was a lucky win.
“We were outplayed for around 80 per cent of the game but we managed to find a way.
“A score of 158 is decent after where we were on 19-5, and at 120-4, you expect them to finish the job.
“But it also shows that we’ve got something in us, that bit of belief when moments get tough.
“Of course we’d like it to be much more straightforward, but it’s good to know we can dig in when it gets tough.”
It was a match that will have almost certainly entertained Holding, who took 249 Test wickets during a memorable career.
Nunn added: “It was great to have him down watching us.
“He pulled in a decent crowd and there was plenty of interest, which was great to see.
“He was so friendly, down to earth and easy to talk to – the perfect guest really.
“Sometimes you get the impression people don’t want to be there at those sort of things, but he mingled with everyone, had photos and was happy to share his experiences.
“We’d love to have him back at the club one day.”
In the match itself it was Nunn and the tail that rescued the Newmarket innings as the skipper contributed a half century alongside knocks from Akram Khan (28), John Maynard (22) and Freddie Statham (21).
The latter then did plenty of damage with the ball, ending with impressive figures of 4-35 from his 8.1 overs.
Nunn also snared three wickets while Maxford Pipe helped himself to two.
Newmarket will go in search of another victory on Saturday at Castor & Ailsworth (12.30pm).