Parker and Johnston guide Sudbury to victory

Ben Parker, who guided Sudbury to victory over Bury with an unbeaten 85. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

Ben Parker, who guided Sudbury to victory over Bury with an unbeaten 85. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT - Credit: Archant

Sudbury extended their lead at the top of the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League to a healthy 38 points, with a five-wicket win at home to Suffolk rivals and basement dwellers Bury St Edmunds in the East Anglian Premier League on Saturday.

Ben Parker and Timothy Johnston rescued the hosts from a vulnerable position of 93 for four, replying to Bury’s hard-earned 279 for eight off 64 overs.

The pair put on a marvellous 149 for the fifth wicket to propel Sudbury to a ninth win of the summer, the Friars Street club reaching their target off 46 overs.

Parker saw the hosts over the line with an unbeaten 85, off 99 balls, while overseas player Johnston struck 87 off 72 deliveries, with two sixes and 15 fours.

Earlier, after Jonathan Gallagher had removed both openers Alfie Marston (11) and Tom Curran (24), and Johnston had dismissed danger-man Murray Commins (9), Bury recovered through the efforts of Sean Park and Josh Cantrell.

Skipper Park made 56 and Cantrell 35 in a fourth wicket stand worth 89, before both were undone by fast bowler Dustin Melton (13-4-54-3).

The visitors slumped to 151 for six, with the departure of Park, but a competitive total was achieved via a 92-run partnership for the seventh wicket between Alastair Allchin and an in-form James Sturgeon.

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All-rounder Allchin hit 54 off 58 balls, with three sixes, while wicketkeeper Sturgeon obliged with an impressive 63 off 66 deliveries, including 10 fours and a six. Sturgeon was out to the last ball of the innings.

Sudbury lost young opener Keelan Waldock (6) early on, after nicking George Loyd to Sturgeon, but the experienced duo of Tom Huggins (33) and Darren Batch (21) added 60 for the second wicket.

Sean Cooper removed both men to give Bury genuine hope of springing a surprise, and when Allchin bowled wicketkeeper Kenny Moulton-Day (21), Sudbury were tottering on 93 for four.

But enter Parker and Johnston and the game soon slipped away from Bury, who have still won only once from 12 fixtures this summer. They are 35 points adrift at the bottom.