Ben Shepperson and Martyn Cull hit centuries for Suffolk against Hertfordshire

Ben Shepperson, who top-scored with 89 in Mildenhall's win at Vauxhall Mallards. Picture: ANDY ABBOT

Ben Shepperson, who top-scored with 89 in Mildenhall's win at Vauxhall Mallards. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT - Credit: Archant

A big partnership of 138 for the fifth wicket, between Martyn Cull and Ben Shepperson, gave Suffolk a first innings advantage after day two of their Minor Counties Championship Eastern Division match at Copdock today.

Cull and Shepperson took the score on from a worrying 92 for four, through to 230, both celebrating centuries before Cull was dismissed for 100.

Mildenhall captain Shepperson went on to make 129 as Suffolk advanced to 373 for eight declared off their 90 overs, which represented a lead of 45 on first innings.

At the close, Hertfordshire had transformed this into a narrow lead of 28, with nine wickets still in hand, so the match is nicely balanced going into tomorrow’s final day.

Hertfordshire had amassed a total of 328 for nine declared on day one, thanks chiefly to three half-centuries from Reece Hussain (80), Alex Axon (69 not out) and opener Jamie Southgate (58).

Tom Rash was the stand-out bowler, with figures of 25-3-94-4, with his Copdock & OI club-mate Hugo Douglas and Frinton captain Kyran Young taking two wickets apiece. Suffolk had ended Sunday night on 42 for one, Jaik Mickleburgh the one wicket to fall, with Cull and youngster Alex Oxley at the crease.

Oxley, Darren Ironside and Young all fell cheaply during the morning session, but Cull and Shepperson turned the match in Suffolk’s favour with their big partnership. Cull has been in form for both Copdock & Old Ipswichian and Suffolk this summer, and he duly notched another century, facing 190 balls for his 100 before he was bowled by Abhishek Kulkarni.

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Shepperson went on to add a further 47 for the sixth wicket with Frinton’s Michael Comber (19), before both were dismissed by Ed Wharton. Shepperson’s 129 came off 152 deliveries, and featured three sixes and 18 fours.

When Rash (13) was bowled by Ben Waring, Suffolk were still trailing by six runs with just two wickets in hand, although captain Adam Mansfield and Jake Wakelin then put on an invaluable 51 for the eighth wicket. Mansfield made a swift 40no off 42 balls.

Young managed to dislodge Jamie Southgate (35), caught by wicketkeeper Mansfield, as Hertfordshire ended the second day on 73 for one in their second innings.

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