Ben Shepperson guides Suffolk to draw at Staffordshire
ROOKIE batsman Ben Shepperson played an innings mature beyond his tender years to lead Suffolk to a draw against Staffordshire yesterday.
The 19-year Mildenhall all-rounder, who was playing only his second Minor Counties Championship match for Suffolk, defied the home attack with a well-crafted half century after coming to the wicket with his side in all sorts of trouble.
Suffolk had just lost three wickets in the space of five balls to leave them 46 for five in their second innings at Knypersley – still 29 runs short of making Staffordshire bat again.
By the time he was ninth man out for 59 Suffolk had ensured they would draw the match.
The two skippers shook hands on a draw with Suffolk 116 runs ahead and only six overs of the match remaining.
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Rain also played its part in Suffolk escaping with a draw, after play did not get under way until 2.30pm, meaning that 36 overs plus 17 in the last hour’s play were possible.
After Suffolk resumed on their overnight total of 13 for two, Ben France had been trapped lbw in the 16th over, Sasha Ward suffered the same fate off the next delivery and then Hassan Adnan had been caught behind off the first ball of the 17th over.
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Chris Swallow scored ten runs off as many balls before he was caught behind.
It was then that Shepperson was joined by wickdet-keeper Chris Warn and they put on 53, before Warn was caught in the covers off the last ball of the 38th over.
Justin Bishop and Shepperson then added a further 71 to steer Suffolk to safety, Bishop falling leg before in the 54th over two balls after striking a six.
Shepperson’s innings occupied 107 deliveries and he struck seven fours and one six before being caught in the 56th over.
First innings: 246 for 6 dec (B France 106no, M Cull 54).
Second innings (continued from 13 for 2): B France lbw b Barker 20, H Adnan c Goodwin b Willott 19, S Ward lbw b Barker 0, B Shepperson c Campbell b Atiq-ur-Rehman Chisht 59, C Swallow c Goodwin b Willott 10, C Warn c Kadeer Ali b Byrne 35, J Bishop lbw b Atiq-ur-Rehman Chishti 25, J Poulson not out 0, T Craddock not out 0. Extras 23. Total (9 wkts, 57 overs) 191.
Fall: 3-46, 4-46, 5-46, 6-56, 7-109, 8-180, 9-191.
Bowling: Willott 15-4-49-4; Barker 17-6-25-2; Imran Arif 9-1-39-0; Atiq-ur-Rehman Chishti 5-2-11-2; Byrne 9-3-26-1; McGuire 2-0-21-0.
First innings: 321 for 9 dec (K Ali 105, T Maxfield 94, P Wilshaw 55, J Bishop 4 for 108).
Staffordshire 9pts, Suffolk 10pts