Bedfordshire’s last wicket pair fail to deny Suffolk a fine win to progress in Unicorns Trophy
- Credit: Archant
Suffolk recorded a thrilling victory over Bedfordshire, by just six runs, to reach the quarter-final stages of the MCCA Unicorns Knock-Out Trophy, as Woolpit Cricket Club hosted its first Minor Counties fixture today.
Suffolk’s second victory, from four Group Four fixtures, enabled Adam Mansfield’s side to finish second in the table, on run-rate, and so progress into the knock-out stages of the competition.
Hertfordshire topped the group with three wins.
Mansfield won the toss and elected to bat, and a century partnership between Darren Batch and Tom Rash helped the hosts to score a challenging total of 261 for six off their 50 overs.
In a remarkable day of cricket, Bedfordshire looked down-and-out at 144 for nine, still 118 runs short of victory with just one wicket remaining. But a fantastic last wicket stand of 111, between middle order batsman Callum Berrill (65 not out) and No. 11 Kamran Anwar (68), saw Bedfordshire threaten to pull off a thrilling victory.
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They were just seven runs short of victory, with three balls to go, when Anwar was bowled by Matt Salisbury to leave the visitors agonisingly short on 255 all out, off 49.4 overs.
Earlier in the day, former Essex county opener Jaik Mickleburgh scored 46 to give Suffolk a platform of sorts, although when he was dismissed caught by wicketkeeper Matt Taylor off Tom Brett, the hosts looked vulnerable on 110 for four.
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But Sudbury club captain Batch, in harness with Copdock & Old Ipswichian skipper Tom Rash, gave the innings a much-needed boost. Batch scored 60 off 97 balls, before he was dismissed with the total on 220, while Rash struck a couple of sixes and five fours in his unbeaten 82, accumulated off 74 deliveries.
Bedfordshire’s opening pair of Jack Keeping (52) and Ben Mansell (14) put on 46 for the first wicket, before Rash made the vital breakthrough.
But it was Copdock spinner Jack Beaumont who blitzed the middle order, taking five for 41 off his 10 overs, to leave the visitors on the brink of defeat, ably supported by Jake Wakelin, who recorded fine figures of 10-0-28-2.
Berrill played second fiddle to last man Anwar, who smashed nine fours and two sixes in his late cameo, but Suffolk kept their nerve to win.