Mildenhall duo of Sharma and Hussain put Saffron Walden in a spin
PUBLISHED: 13:26 08 July 2019
Mildenhall claimed an enthralling four-wicket win over Saffron Walden on a weekend when most of the East Anglian Premier League fixtures were ruined by the weather.
Fellow Suffolk sides Sudbury, Bury St Edmunds and Copdock & Old Ipswichian were all frustrated by the wet conditions, which led to their respective matches being abandoned, while league leaders Frinton-on-Sea's game at Great Witchingham was abandoned without a ball being bowled.
All these clubs therefore received seven points, but Mildenhall made the most of their contest at Wamil Way to take a 25-point haul and so move up to sixth in the table.
After a poor start to the season, which saw them lose their first four matches in the EAPL, an in-form Mildenhall have now won five of their last eight league fixtures.
Saffron Walden won the toss and elected to bat, but they were left in a spin as the dynamic duo of Ankit Sharma and Murtaza Hussain saw them slump from a promising 90 without loss to 175 all out.
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Sharma prompted the collapse by removing both openers Regis Chakabva (58) and Jake Foley (54), as well as dismissing Nikhil Gorantla (1) caught-and bowled, and trapping Finn Katsen LBW for a first-ball duck.
Sharma went on to finish with figures of 11-2-41-6, while fellow spin-king Hussain took the other four wickets (8.2-0-32-4).
There was an interruption for rain during the visitors' innings, which was halted with the total on 147 for six off 31 overs. Play finally resumed a long three-and-a-half hours later, with Saffron Walden allowed another eight overs.
Set a target of 177 in 34 overs, Mildenhall lost opener Joe Reed (1) early on, but Tristan Blackledge (45) and Josh Frame (47) added 91 for the second wicket.
Both then fell in quick succession, to Ryan Deamer, and suddenly the Suffolk hosts were struggling on 113 for five with skipper Tom Rash and Sharma having fallen cheaply, to leave 54 needed off 11 overs.
Ben Shepperson contributed a patient 17, but it was Matt Allen who ensured victory with a whirlwind 45 not out off just 22 balls, which included three big sixes and four boundaries.