Reece guides Sudbury to victory over Horsford with a four off penultimate ball
- Credit: Archant
Sudbury claimed an exciting victory off the penultimate ball of the match to beat Horsford by two wickets, and so retain their healthy lead of 40 points at the top of the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League.
Replying to Horsford’s total of 227 for nine off 50 overs, an innings dominated by a century from overseas player Chad Bowes, Sudbury scraped home with just one ball to spare.
All-rounder Ben Reece struck the penultimate ball, off Thomas Nudd, for four to seal a 12th win of the season for the Friars Street club, who are the defending champions.
Sudbury skipper, Tom Huggins, won the toss and put Horsford into bat, and the wickets were spread around the visitors’ main bowlers as the Norfolk club struggled along to 158 for seven.
However, opening batsman Bowes, who plays his first-class cricket in New Zealand for the same team as Sudbury’s overseas player, Tim Johnston, remained dangerous at the other end.
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Bowes put on a further 48 with No. 9 Chris Brown (39 not out) for the eighth wicket, before he was eventually dismissed caught and bowled by Darren Batch for an excellent 110, off 123 balls.
Johnston finished with figures of 8-1-42-3, while opening bowler James Poulson performed well (10-2-32-2), with skipper Higgins his normal miserly self (10-2-38-1).
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All of Sudbury’s top seven batsmen got themselves in, and reached double figures. Huggins made 40 at the top of the innings, and Martyn Cull made a vital 55 in the middle order.
But the result was very much in the balance until the death, Reece seeing the visitors home with an unbeaten 28 off 26 balls.
“All our front-line batsmen got in, but then got out,” explained Batch, Sudbury’s club captain.
“It was great to see Martyn Cull score another half-century. It was a vital knock for us. And a lot of credit goes to Ben Reece, because he shepherded the tail at the end, when he had debutant Ollie Burns at the other end.
“Ben took it in his stride and made sure that we got over the line.
“We needed 11 of the last two overs, and then just three off the final over. There were two dot balls, Ben took a single and Ollie also got back down the other end, before Ben hit a four to win the match off the penultimate ball, through mid-wicket,” said Batch.