Pat Patel’s innings lights up Two Counties’ 25th anniversary celebrations

AN OUTSTANDING innings of 127 by skipper Pat Patel was the highlight of the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship representative Over-50s sides’ 25th anniversary celebrations.

Patel’s undefeated innings led the Two Counties to victory against Suffolk Over-50s while in the other match, also staged at Ipswich Cricket Club’s Clay Hall ground last Wednesday, Essex Police Veterans defeated the Two Counties in the last over.

Suffolk Over-50s batted first and despite an excellent batting surface found runs hard to come by against an inspired Two Counties attack. Chris Hills led the initial charge with Tony Oram backing him up well and Simon Halliday (78) and Peter Boughton (52) were becalmed for long periods.

There followed some more fine bowling from Martin Southwell, Dave Hinchcliffe and Steve Bulger and it was only a very destructive innings from Suffolk guest Neil Calvert from Lincolnshire, who smashed a blistering 63, that allowed Suffolk to declare after nearly three hours at the crease with 219 for three on the board.

The Two Counties set about their task with gusto and Patel played an outstanding innings to lead them to victory.

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His opening partner, Two Counties legend John Stuck, was dismissed for 74 in the penultimate over, allowing Edgar Dunkley to join Patel to complete the victory.

On the adjoining pitch another Two Counties Over-50s side were entertaining the Essex Police Veterans, who are also celebrating their 25th anniversary.

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These two sides had met on numerous occasions in the past and a lasting friendship was celebrated against John Stonehouse and his merry men.

The Two Counties side batted first in this encounter and a good opening stand between Trevor Mills (57) and Ray Black (40) posted 95. A little flurry of wickets halted the Two Counties flow, before Graham Penny (68) in his usual belligerent style supported by Stef Marks (27) enabled skipper Phil Cox to declare on 217 for six.

The Police Vets lost Stonehouse run out early on, and Stuart Carpenter accounted for C Robinson but P French (65) and G Jackets (67) put the policemen well on course for a win.

A couple of wickets from Phil Cox slowed things down but a well-struck 34no from M Potter saw the Essex Police Vets home in the last over to record a well-deserved four-wicket victory. Cox had the best bowling figures with two for 29.

Geoff Newman, the Two Counties match manager, said: “It was a really fantastic day all round befitting a 25-year anniversary – a great tribute to all concerned in staging this event.

“Both old and new members of the Two Counties fraternity visited throughout the day and after the matches a Hog Roast was enjoyed by all which set the seal on a perfect day which epitomised The Two Counties brand of Over-50s cricket.”

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