Seven wins out of seven for EAPL leaders Sudbury
- Credit: Gregg Brown
Dustin Melton took five wickets as pace-setters Sudbury extended their marvellous winning start to the season, at the expense of Suffolk rivals Copdock & Old Ipswichian at Friars Street on Saturday.
Copdock were skittled out for just 89, inside 40 overs, after home captain Tom Huggins had won the toss and opted to field first.
The hosts then wobbled, losing their four top-order batsmen with just 16 runs on the board as an in-form Hugo Douglas made some serious inroads into the home batting line-up.
But James O’Brien then settled the nerves with a whirlwind 30, off 28 balls, which included a couple of sixes, in a match-winning stand of 43 for the fifth wicket with Ben Reece (30).
The watchful Reece then added 29 for the sixth wicket with James Poulson (15no), before he was run out, but by that time Sudbury were virtually home- and-dry.
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They reached their target (90 for six) with four wickets in hand, off just 26 overs, despite Douglas’ fine figures of four for 29 off 11 overs.
Earlier, only Suffolk opener Martyn Cull had offered any real resistance to Sudbury’s fine bowling attack. Cull compiled 47 off 105 deliveries, before he was the eighth wicket to fall on 81.
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Poulson, who had begun the day by taking the important wicket of former Essex opener Jaik Mickleburgh (8), was the man to finally dislodge Cull, caught behind by wicketkeeper Adam Mansfield. Captain Tom Rash (14) was the only other Copdock batsman to reach double figures.
“It was not a bad pitch. Instead, I thought both teams bowled really well,” explained Sudbury’s club captain, Darren Batch.
“There was movement in the air, and the bowlers put the ball in the right places. Hugo Douglas bowled exceptionally well for them. He got wickets, not because of bad shots from us, but because he got a lot of swing.
“But James (O’Brien) then completely changed the whole momentum of the game by going on the attack, and putting the pressure back on the bowlers.
“Ben (Reece) played an important supporting role, not for the first time this season.
“It’s been a dream start to the season,” confirmed Batch.
Melton ended with figures of 10.4-3-21-5, well supported by Huggins (11-5-16-2) plus Poulson (9-2-23-2) and Jonathan Gallagher (9-3-27-1).
Sudbury have a 100% record, having won seven games out of seven, to lead the table by 30 points.