Huggins and Rash guide Suffolk to another win

Suffolk batsman Tom Huggins in action at Manor Park

Suffolk batsman Tom Huggins in action at Manor Park

Suffolk’s excellent start to their Minor Counties Championship campaign continued, with a commanding eight-wicket win over Staffordshire yesterday.

Justin Bishop’s men wrapped up victory early in the afternoon on day three of their sun-kissed clash at Ipswich School.

It was experienced opener Tom Huggins and promising all-rounder Tom Rash who saw Suffolk safely home, in a match that they dominated throughout.

Resuming overnight on 253 for nine, a lead of 131, Staffordshire added 18 runs before No. 11 batsman Kevin Cockerton was dismissed by Matt Hunn (pictured right), via a catch from Sasha Ward.

It was Hunn’s second wicket of the innings, and eighth of the match.

A stoic Craig Barker was left unbeaten on 53, having faced a time-consuming 168 deliveries to at least give the visitors hope of springing a surprise on a turning wicket.

The previous night, Barker had shared a 76-run partnership with fellow opening bowler Greg Willott for the ninth wicket, to frustrate Suffolk.

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Faced with a target of 150 for victory, Suffolk suffered very few scares along the way.

Captain Justin Bishop made 13, before he was caught by Paul Goodwin off Barker, but he had at least seen the hosts off to a solid start.

Martyn Cull was caught and bowled by Alex Thomson for six, with the score on 51, but that was the extent of Staffordshire’s joy.

Huggins, as imperious as always, was 70 not out when victory was achieved, stroking 10 boundaries off 136 balls.

Rash, who had scored a useful 47 in the first innings, ended unbeaten on 49 to further improve his county average. He struck six fours in off 109 deliveries.

Having enjoyed the better of their opening Minor Counties Championship fixture at Lincolnshire, which had ended in a draw, Suffolk have since won two on the bounce, against Cambridgeshire and now Staffordshire.

Such a promising start has set them up well for the rest of the season, and a possible tilt at the Eastern Division title. It could be an exciting season.

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