Huggins the Suffolk hero

OPENING batsman Tom Huggins was the hero as Suffolk gave themselves a pre-Lord's boost at Burnham yesterday.Chasing 374 to win on the final day of their Minor Counties Championship game against Buckinghamshire, the visitors got home with three overs to spare.

OPENING batsman Tom Huggins was the hero as Suffolk gave themselves a pre-Lord's boost at Burnham yesterday.

Chasing 374 to win on the final day of their Minor Counties Championship game against Buckinghamshire, the visitors got home with three overs to spare.

The 21 points they collected ensures that they go into their final three-day match of the season still in contention to win the Eastern Division title.

It was an unlikely victory after being well beaten by Cambridgeshire in their previous match, and being generally outplayed on the first two days at Burnham.

But full marks to Huggins and his batting colleagues for showing the character and skill to bounce back and give themselves a lift before their Lord's KO Trophy final against Cheshire on August 27.

Bucks declared on their overnight total of 243 for eight wickets, and Huggins and Ben France wasted no time in setting about the home attack.

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They got the ball rolling with 17 runs off the first over, and reached 50 in just six and a half overs.

In the opening hour 93 runs were gathered, and the partnership continued to blossom although the run rate decreased as lunch approached. At the interval the scoreboard read 157 for one.

France took 99 balls to reach his 57 with nine fours and when he was leg before the score was 142.

Suffolk's later batsmen were able to build on this solid base with Andrew Mawson joining Huggins to put on 82 for the second wicket.

Huggins' half-century came off just 46 balls, with his century taking a total of 182 balls as he settled down to steer his side home. When he was out for 139 he had faced 266 balls and struck 16 fours.

Suffolk lost three more wickets but were always in control with skipper Phil Caley striking a boundary to win the game at 6.30pm.

Suffolk have now won twice, drawn two rain-affected matches and lost to Cambs, which was their first defeat for almost two years in any competition.

They face Lincolnshire at Grantham starting on Sunday week seeking to gain the full quota of 24 points on offer, and hoping it will be enough to overtake the leaders.

Burnham scoreboard

Suffolk (21pts) beat Buckinghamshire (8pts) by 4 wkts.

BUCKINGHAMSHIRE

First innings 351 for 9 (Atkins 73, Sawyer 69, Sketchley 47)

Second innings 243 for 8 dec (Sawyer 56, Medlycott 63)

SUFFOLK

First innings 221 (Bishop 43, Sampson 6 for 64)

Second innings 375 for 6 (T Huggins 139)

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