Suffolk aiming to end season with a flourish

SUFFOLK will be bidding to finish their Minor Counties Championship campaign with a flourish when they face Lincolnshire, starting tomorrow.

A disappointing Eastern Division campaign, which has seen four of their five three-day fixtures rain-affected and consequently drawn, draws to a close at Ipswich School.

The rain arguably did Suffolk a favour on the final day of their match at Knypersley against Staffordshire, where Suffolk batted long enough to earn a draw.

Skipper Justin Bishop admitted: “We were always going to have to bat well in our second innings to avoid defeat on what was a tricky pitch. Ben France batted superbly for his hundred in our first innings, but without Matt Hunn we did not have enough bowling firepower.

“Kadeer Ali, who played four games for Leicestershire earlier this season, never looked in trouble during his century for Staffordshire and I think he is still good enough to play first-class cricket.”

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That Suffolk salvaged a draw was partly down to Ben Shepperson, who scored 59 in Suffolk’s second innings in only his second Minor Counties match.

Bishop added: “Ben is a confident young player, which bodes well for the future. He doesn’t get flustered and if he continues to work hard at his game he will develop into a good player. He hit down the ground well – a lot of young players are full of flicks and cover drives but don’t have the strength to hit straight.”

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Shepperson is, unsurprisingly, named in an unchanged side, with Hunn continuing to be sidelined by glandular fever.

Bishop said: “Ipswich School has been a ‘result’ wicket over the years and we have done well there in both three-day and one-day fixtures. It usually turns and I don’t see any reason why it should be any different this time.But Lincolnshire are a good team and we will have to be at the top of our game if we are to end the season on a winning note.”

Suffolk: T Huggins, B France, M Cull, H Adnan, S Ward, B Shepperson, C Swallow, C Warn (wkt), J Bishop (capt), J Poulson, T Craddock.

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