Suffolk are up against it

SUFFOLK are up against it if they are to claim the Eastern Division crown after the opening day of their final Minor Counties Championship match of the season.

Hosts Cumberland racked up an imposing 354 for nine declared before reducing Suffolk, who lost three wickets for three runs, to 68 for three in their reply, to leave the visitors trailing by 286 runs with seven first-innings wickets still standing.

Suffolk, needing a win to be certain of claiming the title, will have to bat well today to haul themselves back into the match taking place in the scenic setting of Sedbergh School.

After winning the toss and putting Cumberland into bat Suffolk struggled to break partnerships once the Cumberland batsmen got into their stride.

Paul King struck in successive balls in the fifth over to remove opener James Lowe and then Mark Brown with the total on 24, before a century third-wicket stand put the home side in the driving seat.


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Jonathan Miles and Gary Pratt added 113 in 191 balls before being separated.

With the lunch interval looming the left-handed Pratt was caught by Simon Rees at point and with only four added to the total Rees pocketed another catch, this time in the slips, to remove Miles.

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Any hopes Suffolk held of making further inroads into the Cumberland innings on the resumption were buried beneath a fifth-wicket alliance of 109 in 94 minutes between wicket-keeper Ikram Ullah and Alex Atkinson.

The stand spanned 175 balls before Tom Huggins caught Atkinson at slip to give the returning James Finch the first of his two wickets, and two overs later Huggins turned wicket-taker to account for Ullah caught behind.

Chris Thompson then played an aggressive innings that contained eight fours and two shots that cleared the ropes as he plundered 66 unbeaten runs from 72 deliveries before the declaration at the end of the maximum 90 overs.

Suffolk started solidly in reply, aided by some extras, as Huggins and Freddie Klokker put together an opening partnership of 55 before Klokker was caught at the wicket in the 13th over. Huggins and Adnan then fell for the addition of just three more runs.

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