Former Essex batsman Jaik Mickleburgh scores century as Suffolk draw against Hertfordshire
- Credit: Archant
Suffolk had to be content with a draw after an absorbing final day of their Minor Counties Championship match, against Hertfordshire at Copdock today.
Jaik Mickleburgh scored an unbeaten century, the fifth hundred of the match, but Suffolk finished 52 runs short of victory, with three wickets in hand, at the close of play.
However, this has still been a fine start to the summer for Adam Mansfield’s side, with a win and two draws from their first three Championship fixtures in the Eastern Division.
Hertfordshire began the last day on 73 for one, nursing a lead of just 28 after Suffolk had taken a first-innings advantage of 45, thanks mainly to centuries from Ben Shepperson (129) and Martyn Cull (100) on day two.
The hosts were in a strong position when taking three early wickets, to leave Hertfordshire on 115 for four, a lead of just 70.
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But opener Steve Gale and Dominic Chatfield then took control, both celebrating centuries during a stand of 214 for the fifth wicket.
Gale struck an impressive 25 fours in his knock of 154, off 210 balls, before he was bowled by Michael Comber with the total having advanced to 329.
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Chatfield was dismissed shortly afterwards, with no more runs added, having hit three sixes and 16 boundaries in his entertaining 106 off 134 deliveries.
Hertfordshire eventually declared on 360 for seven, leaving Suffolk to chase down 316 for victory.
And the experienced opening pair of Cull and Mickleburgh built the ideal platform by putting on 121 for the first wicket.
County stalwart Cull, of Copdock & Old Ipswichian, scored a rapid 78 off 85 balls, with a six and 12 fours, before he became the first of Ben Waring’s three victims.
Shepperson and Tom Rash both fell relatively cheaply and, despite useful contributions from skipper Mansfield (20) and Frinton captain Kyran Young (23 off 23 balls), Suffolk were always facing a race against time to secure victory.
Mickleburgh finished on 113 not out, accrued off 119 deliveries, with young Alex Oxley at the wicket with him at the close, to ensure that there would be no late collapse.
Suffolk’s next match is away at Norfolk (at Manor Park), starting on Sunday, July 16.