Bowlers dominate at Sedburgh School

TWENTY wickets fell on the first day of Suffolk's Minor Counties Championship season yesterday.Phil Edwards claimed five victims on his Minor Counties Championship debut for Suffolk as Cumberland were skittled out for 153 after winning the toss and opting to bat first.

TWENTY wickets fell on the first day of Suffolk's Minor Counties Championship season yesterday.

Phil Edwards claimed five victims on his Minor Counties Championship debut for Suffolk as Cumberland were skittled out for 153 after winning the toss and opting to bat first.

But the hosts then hit back to dismiss Suffolk for 140 and take a 13-run lead into day two of the three-day match at Sedburgh School.

The scenic venue, set among flint cottages and walls with a church at one end of the ground, witnessed a clatter of wickets throughout the day.


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The trend was set when Alex Roberts was adjudged lbw to Justin Bishop from the 10th ball of the Cumberland innings without a run on the board.

Darren Clark and Michael Raikes followed soon after to leave Cumberland struggling at 30 for three before 25-year-old former Durham all-rounder Gary Pratt top-scored with 45 and featured in the day's highest stand of 55 with John Coxon.

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The left-handed batsman, who achieved overnight stardom when he ran out Australian skipper Ricky Ponting while on the field as a 12th man for England at Trent Bridge in the Ashes Series of 2005, gathered his runs from just 53 balls with seven boundaries.

Suffolk continued to pick up wickets at regular intervals as Edwards, who last season played for Cambridge University and Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League side Cambridge Granta and now appears for Old Hill in the Birmingham League, returned figures of 21-6-56-5.

Paul King chipped in with two wickets and left-armer Bishop brought the innings to a close with the first ball of the 56th over by gaining his second leg before verdict.

Pratt, who took the gloves in the absence of Cumberland's regular wicket-keeper who was injured playing on Saturday, then combined with Rees Williams to reduce Suffolk to 36 for three.

Openers Tom Huggins and Ben France contributed just a single between them and Gareth James, the Clacton batsman who also plays for Essex 2nd XI, had reached 21 on his Minor Counties debut before he also fell to the same combination.

Andrew Mawson, who used to play for Cumberland, led a Suffolk fightback, scoring 35 from 60 balls laced with five fours until he was sixth out, giving Williams his fourth wicket, with the total on 95.

Chris Swallow, batting at No. 7, was left undefeated on 25 after resisting for exactly two hours in a knock spanning 85 balls and containing three fours.

He helped add 24 with skipper Phil Caley (18) and then edged Suffolk to within 13 runs of the hosts' total as the last three wickets fell at the other end.

Meanwhile, Chris Schofield, the all-rounder who holds a dual registration with Suffolk, scored 17 and took three for 40 off 10 overs for Surrey in their three-wicket Friend Provident Trophy defeat to Somerset at Bath yesterday.

Sedburgh scoreboard

Cumberland (4pts) lead Suffolk (4pts) by 13 runs after first innings.

Cumberland First innings

D Clark b Edwards 9

A Roberts lbw b Bishop 0

M Raikes b France 9

G Pratt b Edwards 45

J Coxon lbw b Edwards 19

J Smith c Warn b Edwards 20

P Raikes c Bishop b Edwards 19

C Hooker c Lee b King 5

C Miller c & b King 2

R Williams lbw b Bishop 2

M Sharp not out 4

Extras 19

Total (off 55.1 overs) 153

Fall: 1-0, 2-22, 3-30, 4-85, 5-117, 6-122, 7-137, 8-143, 9-147, 10-153.

Bowling: Edwards 21-6-56-5; Bishop 10.1-1-39-2; France 8-4-17-1; King 16-7-30-2.

Suffolk First innings

T Huggins c Pratt b Williams 0

B France c Pratt b Williams 1

G James c Pratt b Williams 21

A Mawson c Smith b Williams 35

N Lee lbw b Smith 15

C Warn lbw b Roberts 2

C Swallow not out 25

P Caley c Roberts b Hooker 18

J Bishop c Smith b Sharp 8

P Edwards lbw b Roberts 1

P King lbw b Smith 0

Extras 14

Total (off 48 overs) 140

Fall: 1-0, 2-15, 3-36, 4-64, 5-75, 6-95, 7-119, 8-130, 9-139, 10-140.

Bowling: Williams 10-2-43-4; Hooker 7-3-16-1; Roberts 13-5-30-2; Smith 8-0-21-2; Sharp 10-4-18-1.

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