Leaders Sudbury collect crucial batting points despite defeat to Swardeston

James Poulson, bowling, made a valuable 68 at No. 9 for Sudbury in their defeat at the hands of Swar

James Poulson, bowling, made a valuable 68 at No. 9 for Sudbury in their defeat at the hands of Swardeston. Picture: NICK GARNHAM - Credit: Archant

Sudbury lost their top-of-the-table clash with Swardeston on Saturday, but they remain in the driving seat going into their last three fixtures in the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League.

Joe Gatting plundered a superb 160 not out as Swardeston posted a massive total of 302 for four off their 50 overs, and the Norfolk side then quickly reduced their hosts to 102 for seven.

However, some damage limitation by Kenny Moulton-Day and James Poulson, who put on a partnership of 104 for the eighth wicket, guided Sudbury beyond the 200-mark and eventually to a precious four batting points.

Moulton-Day made 61 off 55 balls, while all-rounder Poulson top-scored with 68 at No. 9, with two sixes and eight fours in his 60-ball knock, before the Suffolk side were bowled out for 245 in the 48th over to lose by 57 runs.

Second-placed Swardeston have therefore cut the gap to leaders Sudbury to 21 points, although the advantage still very much lies with the Friars Street club.

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Earlier in the day, after Sudbury had taken a couple of early wickets, they were pegged back by a stand of 100 runs for the third wicket between opener Callum Taylor (74) and skipper Gatting, before the latter stepped up a gear by smashing 11 sixes and nine fours in his unbeaten 160, compiled off 127 balls.

Sudbury club captain, Darren Batch, admitted: “We were on the end of a very special knock from Joe Gatting. He played quite conservatively at the start, after we had taken two wickets in the first 10 overs (19 for two).

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“We were where we wanted to be, but Joe played very nicely and set it up for the end of the innings.

“He scored 53 runs off his last 12 balls, and that meant instead of needing 260 for victory, suddenly we needed more than 300. The last five or six overs effectively took the game away from us.

“We lost early regular wickets, so it then became a matter of earning a few batting points. Kenny (Moulton-Day) and James (Poulson) saw this position, and they salvaged a few points for us, which might yet prove vital.

“We were 102 for seven. It would have been easy to just give up, but they recognised the importance of getting the extra batting points.

“So even if we were to suffer another defeat, so long as we get at least five bonus points, we will still be top. We still have a buffer.”

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