Suffolk battle back well on opening day

EASTERN Division leaders Suffolk battled back well on the opening day of their Minor Counties Championship clash against Northumberland at Jesmond yesterday.

EASTERN Division leaders Suffolk battled back well on the opening day of their Minor Counties Championship clash against Northumberland at Jesmond yesterday.

Chris Warn and Nick Lee rescued the innings after a poor start before former Essex all-rounder Justin Bishop struck six fours and two sixes in an unbeaten 56.

Suffolk were eventually dismissed for a respectable 275 while in reply, Northumberland had reached 111 for three after 31 overs to leave the game evenly poised.

There was a prompt start to the three-day contest despite overnight rain in the North East and Suffolk were asked to bat first by home skipper Phil Nicholson.

Gary Stewart made early inroads into the visitors' batting line up as he had Ben France caught at slip by Marc Symington for only 10.

The paceman then struck again one run later when Tom Huggins was caught behind by Nicholson for six to leave Sufflolk on 19 for two in the fourth over.

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Things went from bad to worse as Martyn Cull was then snapped up by Nicholson for three to give Jonny Wightman his first wicket for Northumberland on his county debut.

The talented Hassan Adnan had progressed to 19 before he was caught by Paul Muchall at slip off David Rutherford as Suffolk remained in trouble on 49 for four.

However, Warn and Lee combined in a fifth-wicket partnership of 111 as the visitors got themselves back into the game on a ground traditionally known as a batsman's paradise.

Warn displayed a fine shot selection in a top-scoring knock of 70 which included 10 fours before he departed trapped leg before by a Rutherford delivery.

Lee was sixth man out when he gave Nicholson his third catch of the innings off Rutherford after making a 95-ball 46 including eight fours.

Skipper Phil Caley, who went into the game needing a further 16 runs to become Suffolk's all time leading run-maker in Minor Counties cricket, was out in similar fashion to Warn to the same bowler for only three.

Rutherford claimed his fourth wicket in a fiery spell of pace bowling to dismiss Chris Swallow to leave the visitors in trouble again.

The home attack were then frustated by a ninth-wicket stand of 63 between Bishop and Martin Smith which crucially gave the innings some late impetus.

Bishop made the initial breakthrough when it was Northumberland's turn to bat as he got rid of the dangerous Muchall who was given out leg before for 12 with the score on 30 in the sixth over.

The second-wicket stand between Allan Worthy and David Myers had yielded 64 runs when Suffolk made a double breakthrough shortly before the close.

Worthy had displayed some powerful hitting in a 64-ball 47 before he was superbly caught by Swallow off his own bowling and France struck a further blow when he had Myers caught by Bishop for 26 to leave Northumberland still trailing by 164 runs.



First innings

T B Huggins c Nicholson b Stewart 6

B J France c Symington b Stewart 10

M G Cull c Nicholson b Wightman 3

H Adnan c Muchall b Rutherford 19

C J Warn lbw b Rutherford 70

N T Lee c Nicholson b Muchall 46

P J Caley lbw b Rutherford 3

C A Swallow b Rutherford 9

J E Bishop not out 56

M Smith c Symington b Wightman 28

A C McGarry b Bridge 5

Extras 20

Total 275

Fall: 1-18, 2-19, 3-21, 4-49, 5-160, 6-172, 7-172, 8-191, 9-254, 10-275.

Bowling: Wightman 17-1-74-2; Stewart 10-3-29-2; Rutherford 19-5-56-4; Symington 9-0-30-0; Muchall 12-2-31-1;

Bridge 8.2 -0-45-1


First innings

A Worthy c & b Swallow 47

P Muchall lbw b Bishop 12

D Myers c Bishop b France 26

B Parker not out 9

P J Nicholson not out 5

Extras 12

Total (for 3 wkts) 111

Fall: 1-30, 2-94, 3-104.

Bowling: Smith 6-0-33-0; Bishop 8-2-26-1; McGarry 4-0-27-0; France 7-3-10-1; Swallow 6-0-11-1.

Bonus points to date: Northumberland 4, Suffolk 4.

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