Croft puts Bury St Edmunds in a spin as Copdock & OI celebrate their first win of the season

Copdock batsmen Jaik Mickleburgh and Martyn Cull cross for more runs during their opening stand of 7

Copdock batsmen Jaik Mickleburgh and Martyn Cull cross for more runs during their opening stand of 70, in their eight-wicket win over Bury St Edmunds on Saturday. Picture: SARAH LIUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Copdock & Old Ipswichian celebrated their first victory of the season, in the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League, with an emphatic eight-wicket win over Suffolk rivals Bury St Edmunds on Saturday.

Copdock batsmen Jaik Mickleburgh and Martyn Cull cross for more runs during their opening stand of 7

Copdock batsmen Jaik Mickleburgh and Martyn Cull cross for more runs during their opening stand of 70, in their eight-wicket win over Bury St Edmunds on Saturday. Picture: SARAH LIUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Dominant Copdock bowled well to contain Bury to 185 for seven off their allotted 50 overs, on a good batting surface at Old London Road, with leg spinner Stephen Croft in impressive form.

And the hosts then strolled to 186 for two, off 43.1 overs, thanks to another sound innings from opener Martyn Cull.

“It was another flat wicket,” explained Copdock & OI captain, Tom Rash.

“Even though it’s early on in the season, we have been playing on some not very typical April/May wickets. In fact, they have been more like July pitches!

Copdock batsmen Jaik Mickleburgh and Martyn Cull cross for more runs during their opening stand of 7

Copdock batsmen Jaik Mickleburgh and Martyn Cull cross for more runs during their opening stand of 70, in their eight-wicket win over Bury St Edmunds on Saturday. Picture: SARAH LIUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

“Bury won the toss, which means I have still not won a toss this season, in three attempts.

“I was a little bit surprised that they opted to bat, because there was a little bit of help for the bowlers early on, with the clouds around, until the sun came out later on,” added Rash.

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Despite a patient 37 from opener Ben Curran, accumulated off 84 balls, Bury eventually found themselves struggling on 84 for six.

Curran was the first of four wickets for leg spinner Croft, a summer signing – the Yorkshire-born youngster is a student at Cambridge University.

Croft boasted figures of 10-4-17-3, while Rash took two for 52 and spinner Jack Beaumont two for 39 off his 10 overs.

Rash had earlier taken the important wicket of opener Justin Bishop (10), the former Suffolk county captain, but the experienced pair of Mark Nunn and Sean Cooper at least guided Bury out of troubled waters and towards a half-respectable total.

The two all-rounders put on 96 for the seventh wicket, Nunn scoring 49 off 49 deliveries, including two sixes, before he was dismissed by Rash late in the innings.

Cooper, Bury’s acting captain in the absence of Sean Park, was 39 not out at the close of the visitors’ 50 overs, scored off 77 deliveries.

“Stephen Croft was outstanding. He showed so much control, for a young leg spinner,” explained Rash. “It was very enjoyable to watch him bowl.

“Nunn and Cooper both attacked well, when the conditions got better. They moved the ball around the wicket and took full advantage of the pitch.

“But nine times out of 10, we knew that the total of 185 would be a difficult one to defend.”

Copdock never let their advantage slip, due to a 70-run partnership between openers Cull and Jaik Mickleburgh.

Former Essex stalwart Mickleburgh struck eight boundaries in his innings of 47, before he was caught and bowled by James McKinney.

Bishop had Beaumont (7) caught by wicketkeeper James Sturgeon, to leave the score on 79 for two, but Cull and Archie Gravell saw Copdock home to a first victory of the summer.

The imperious Cull finished on 82 not out, striking 12 fours in a 129-ball stay, while Gravell was unbeaten on 38 from 62 deliveries.

For Bury, Bishop led by example with figures of 10-3-17-1, while spinner McKinney also bowled tightly with one for 27 off his 10 overs.

“A lot of our batsmen had runs under their belts already this season, and Martyn (Cull) is just having one of those spells at the moment!” enthused Rash.

“Long may his spell continue – hopefully for the rest of the season. He’s an amazing player when he is in this mood.

“Archie (Gravell) also played well in what was his first game for the first XI in two seasons. He’s been a regular for the 2nd XI, but he stepped up because of the injuries to Chris Swallow and Chris Warn, and also Sam Webb-Snowling’s unavailability.”

Copdock lost their first game of the season off the last ball in a thriller against Cambridge Granta, before suffering a seven-wicket defeat at Great Witchingham, despite a century opening stand between Cull and Mickleburgh.

This Saturday, they enjoy home advantage again, against Horsford.

“We’re looking to record another home win on what should be another flat pitch,” added Rash.

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