Brooks hails Suffolk team display

SUFFOLK'S part-time cricketers were savouring their success yesterday after their “model one-day performance in the field” saw them lift the Minor Counties Knock-out Trophy.

SUFFOLK'S part-time cricketers were savouring their success yesterday after their “model one-day performance in the field” saw them lift the Minor Counties Knock-out Trophy.

Kevin Brooks, Suffolk's director of cricket, paid tribute to the display of the team who had defeated Cheshire by 35 runs in Monday's final at Lord's and in particular to the innings of 87 by man-of-the-match Paul Grayson, the former Essex all-rounder.

“Naturally there were a lot of nerves and a bit of tension around and we didn't get off to the start we had hoped for with the bat.

“Paul Grayson's innings settled the nerves and Chris Swallow came in and gave the innings the impetus we needed to get the score up to what we felt was a challenging target.


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“The one thing I think everyone can take away from the game was the part that Paul Grayson played. He has had an outstanding first-class career, but any young aspiring cricketer who saw that innings should have learned a great deal about how to play a one-day innings in an awkward situation.”

Brooks continued: “We thought the wicket would get lower and slower as the game went on and we felt we had the bowlers to back up our decision to bat first.

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“Although you want to score as many runs as you can get, realistically we knew we had the ability to defend anything above 200, and it was a collective effort from the bowlers. As you know we deliberated long and hard over the balance of the side before Martin Smith was selected, but it paid off for us.

“We always thought we would have an advantage in the field, given that we were a younger and more mobile side, and we took our chances that came along. We produced a model one-day performance in the field.”

Brooks played down that winning the one-day final was the pinnacle of his 10-year involvement as the county's director of cricket.

He said: “The real test is winning the championship. The play-off between the two divisional winners is very much a one-off game, but to win your respective division is the one that everyone sets out to achieve at the start of the season.

“However, Monday's win does make up for the huge disappointment of missing out in two previous semi-finals. As Paul King said in an interview before the final, the team had travelled a lot of miles and bowled a lot of overs to get there. We ask a lot of our players in terms of commitment, so days like Monday are very special.”

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