Oxley and Cawkwell impress in Copdock’s win at Frinton

Jed Cawkwell, who struck 107 not out in Copdock & OI's seven-wicket win at Frinton. Picture: JAMES A

Jed Cawkwell, who struck 107 not out in Copdock & OI's seven-wicket win at Frinton. Picture: JAMES AGER - Credit: James Ager

Alex Oxley and Jed Cawkwell dazzled with a terrific unbroken stand of 208 to guide Copdock & Old Ipswichian to a fine seven-wicket win at Frinton, in the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League on Saturday.

Teenager Alex Oxley, who made 99 not out for Copdock in their impressive win at Frinton. Picture: AN

Teenager Alex Oxley, who made 99 not out for Copdock in their impressive win at Frinton. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT - Credit: Archant

The Copdock duo came together with the score on 54 for three, in reply to Frinton’s 259 all out, with their side looking set for defeat against their high-flying hosts – Frinton are currently second in the table.

But teenager Oxley and the experienced Cawkwell then combined to turn the game in Copdock’s favour with an outstanding partnership, in the face of a strong bowling attack.

Cawkwell hit a well-timed 107 not out, off 117 balls, with a six and 14 fours, while Culford School pupil Oxley finished just one short of a century on 99 not out, achieved off 173 deliveries and featuring 11 boundaries. It was a very mature knock from the highly-rated 17-year-old.

The visitors reached their target off 54.2 overs, and so had plenty of time in hand, easing to a fifth win of the summer to consolidate their seventh spot in the table.

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“I would say this was the stand-out performance of the season so far,” enthused Copdock & OI captain, Chris Swallow.

“Alex (Oxley) and Jed (Cawkwell) both batted superbly. They never looked in any trouble, batting in a very controlled way. They took their time, and were very calm and collected.

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“In fact, they made the run-chase look very easy.

“Jed is one of our more senior players now, while Alex is still only 17. He has so much potential, and has been in good nick recently for his school (Culford).

“That’s how we have set up our team in the EAPL this year, to give 17-years-olds like Alex and Fergus Atkins a chance. We know that they are good enough, but that they won’t produce every week.

“Frinton are a very good team, with three ex-professionals in their ranks, so they can be fairly daunting, especially when you have a bowler of Merv Westfield’s pace and aggression to face.

“So to win it well, and in pretty comfortable fashion, was a big achievement,” added Swallow.

The day had begun with Frinton captain, Kyran Young, winning the toss and opting to bat first on a very dry wicket at Ashlyns Road.

The home side’s top five batsmen all reached double figures, but were never able to get completely on top of some very tight Copdock bowling.

Danger-man Jaik Mickleburgh made 39 at the top of the order, before he was caught by wicketkeeper Sam Webb-Snowling off skipper Swallow (14-4-50-2). Spinner Swallow also trapped his rival captain Young leg before (22).

Frinton looked in danger of not even reaching 200, when sliding to 142 for seven, only for Sri Lankan all-rounder Pulina Tharanga to rescue the situation with a brisk 70 off 45 balls, including four sixes and seven fours.

Tharanga put on 68 for the eighth wicket with Michael Comber (43) to take the total up to 210.

Suffolk county player Jack Beaumont halted Frinton’s recovery by taking the last three wickets to fall, to finish with figures of 15.5-1-79-3, while teenager Atkins took a couple of wickets on his return to the team following the end of term at Royal Hospital School.

“It was an odd-looking pitch. Obviously it had been a struggle to keep any moisture in it, but I would probably have batted first if I had won the toss,” explained Swallow.

“We bowled well as a team, keeping it tight and bowling in the right areas.

“(Pulina) Tharanga is not really a No. 9, which just shows the depth of Frinton’s batting. He is a proper batsman, and can be very dangerous.

“But we stuck to our guns and it was good to see Fergus (Atkins) back in the team. It was his first game back since school.”

Copdock lost Sallow early in their reply, and former Essex bowler Westfield then dismissed opener Reuben Sharpe (23) and Beaumont (2) in quick succession, both caught, to leave the total of 54 for three. But that was the extent of Frinton’s joy.

The Essex side used seven bowlers, with Westfield returning figures of 15-1-72-2, but Oxley and Cawkwell dug in and then gradually knocked off the runs in fine style.

It meant back-to-back wins for Copdock, who had also engineered a successful run-chase in the previous weekend’s five-wicket success over (third-placed) Burwell & Exning.

Copdock will be hoping to make it a hat-trick of wins, against the top three teams, when they entertain pace-setters and Suffolk rivals Sudbury this weekend. That should be a cracking game.

Elsewhere, bottom club Bury St Edmunds are at home to fourth-placed Great Witchingham, Frinton travel to Burwell & Exning (game to be played at Exning), and Milednhall play host to Horsford.

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