Suffolk defeat Bedfordshire in Unicorns Knock-Out Trophy
- Credit: Archant
Billy Root marked his Suffolk home debut with a superb century as Justin Bishop’s side recorded their third win from three starts in the Unicorns Knock-Out Trophy, at the expense of Bedfordshire yesterday.
The younger brother of England and Yorkshire batsman Joe Root rescued Suffolk from a precarious position of seven for two to score a marvellous 116 in the hosts’ successful reply – they eventually won by four wickets.
Suffolk had restricted the visitors to 235 for nine, off their 50 overs, after opting to field on winning the toss in overcast conditions at the Victory Ground in Bury St Edmunds.
Bedfordshire were well-placed at 109 for one, thanks to 60 from opener Luke Thomas and 43 by No. 3 Dan Blacktopp, but they both fell to Chris Swallow to give Suffolk the upper hand.
Swallow ended with figures of two for 35, from his 10 overs, while Tom Huggins was nearly as miserly with one for 38 off his 10.
Woolpit all-rounder Craig Estlea celebrated three late wickets to further restrict Bedfordshire.
Openers Justin Bishop and Huggins, playing on their home ground, both fell cheaply to give the visitors a glimmer of hope.
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But Root and former Essex all-rounder, Michael Comber (52) shared a third wicket partnership of 125 to put the hosts in the driving seat.
Comber struck seven boundaries and a six in his half-century, facing 72 deliveries before he was stumped by wicketkeeper Alex Martin off the bowling of Colin Griggs.
The result was still in doubt when Suffolk were pegged back to 154 for five, due to Estlea’s run out and Simon Rees becoming another victim of wicketkeeper Martin, caught off Andy Reynoldson – the pick of Bedfordshire’s bowlers with one for 33 off his 10 overs.
But Root was then joined by Simon Guy, the duo sharing a 67-run stand for the sixth wicket to effectively see Suffolk over the line.
Player-coach Guy had guided Suffolk to victory the previous weekend, in harness with Rees, and this time he supported Root with an unbeaten 25 off 33 balls.
With just 15 runs needed for victory, Root was dismissed on 116, caught by Reynoldson off George Bacon, having helped himself to 11 fours and a six in his 115-ball stay.
Guy and Tom Rash saw Suffolk home, to cement their position at the top of Group Two, following previous wins over Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire.