Suffolk close in on victory as Mickleburgh hits ton

Josh Cantrell, who bowled superbly to take three late wickets as Suffolk closed in on victory over N

Josh Cantrell, who bowled superbly to take three late wickets as Suffolk closed in on victory over Norfolk at Copdock. - Credit: Archant

Jaik Mickleburgh scored a century as Suffolk remained firmly in the driving seat against Norfolk, and within sight of a big victory, following day two of their Minor Counties Championship match at Copdock today.

Suffolk had impressed to restrict Norfolk to 259 for nine on day one, even though the visitors had recovered from a precarious 189 for nine to give some respectability to their total.

And the hosts took full advantage of a good batting wicket, posting an imposing total of 385 for nine declared, off their 90 overs, built around an excellent opening partnership worth 175 between Mickleburgh and captain Adam Mansfield.

At the close, Norfolk had stumbled to 96 for six off 35 overs, and so will begin day three still trailing by 30 runs, with just four wickets in tact.

Suffolk will hope to close out victory early in the day, having been in change throughout the whole of this match.

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Mansfield boosted his score to 70 at the start of the day, following on from his overnight 35 not out, before he was caught by wicketkeeper Sam Groves off Ashley Watson. He faced 114 balls, and struck nine fours.

Mickleburgh had reached 111, with 16 boundaries in his 159-ball stay at the crease, when he became one of Brett Stolworthy’s two victims. It was a terrific effort from the former Essex stalwart, with Suffolk well placed at 193 for two following his departure.

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Stolworthy had Darren Ironside caught by Sam Arthurton next ball, for a first-ball duck, but Frinton captain, Kyran Young, made a patient 34 at No. 3, receiving good support from Jed Cawkwell (15) and Jack Beaumont, who made a rapid 32 off 49 balls.

The Mildenhall pair of Ben Shepperson (19) and Tom Rash (24) kept the scoreboard ticking over, past the 300-mark, but the home side were pegged back to 318 for eight following Rash’s exit.

However, a ninth wicket stand of 60 between Frinton all-rounder Michael Comber, who smashed 45 off 27 balls, with three sixes, and Josh Cantrell (22 not out), meant Norfolk were facing a final deficit of 126 runs on first innings.

Norfolk’s second innings was soon in trouble, debutant Ollie Bocking taking two for 33 off six overs to set the trend, before an inspired Cantrell took three late wickets to finish with figures of 6-1-16-3.

Bocking removed danger-man Arthurton (8), caught by Young, and also Tom New for a fifth-ball duck, caught behind by wicketkeeper Mansfield.

Cantrell struck late on with the dismissals of Ben France, Matthew Bint and Ashley Watson to see Norfolk nosedive from 71 for three, to 96 for six at the close.

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