Suffolk in good position against Staffordshire
Matthew Hunn took six wickets as Suffolk grabbed the initiative on day one of their Minor Counties Championship Eastern Division match, against Staffordshire at Ipswich School.
Hunn’s impressive figures of six for 29, off 9.4 overs (his best bowling figures for Suffolk), were complemented by a three-wicket haul from fellow youngster James Poulson as Staffordshire were dismissed for just 138 inside 31 overs.
Suffolk lost early wickets in their reply – the first three batsmen were back in the pavilion with the score on just 31 – but they had progressed to 205 for seven at stumps.
That means the hosts have a lead of 67, going into the second day. Play resumes at 11am on Monday.
Fast bowler Hunn ripped the heart out of Staffordshire’s top order, claiming the wickets of James Middleton, Tim Maxfield and Peter Wilshaw with the total on just 24, after the visitors had won the toss and decided to bat.
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It was Poulson who took the important wicket of opener Kadeer Ali (22), and the visitors looked at one point like they would be bowled out for less than 100, after Poulson had Thomas Steele caught by Adam Mansfield to leave them on 89 for seven – 14 of the 17 wickets to fall during the day were to catches.
However, the biggest partnership of the innings, of 46 for the eighth wicket between the patient Alex Thomson and Greg Willott (top-scored with 40), helped to boost Staffordshire’s total.
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Justin Bishop, Tom Huggins and Martyn Cull were soon back in the pavilion, as Suffolk initially struggled to get going in their reply.
However, Tom Rash (47) and Simon Guy (26) steadied the ship, Guy striking five boundaries. Rash was more thoughtful, facing 98 deliveries, and by the time he was dismissed, Suffolk were just one short of the visitors’ total.
Sasha Ward top-scored with 48, again off 98 balls, and he enjoyed good support from Rash and then Adam Mansfield.
Mansfield was dismissed in the last over for 31, but Suffolk will be hoping to extend their lead towards the 100-mark this morning.