Suffolk keep KO Trophy hopes alive
SUFFOLK kept alive their hopes of winning the 2006 Minor Counties Knock-out Trophy with a dramatic last-over victory against Norfolk.Needing two points to stay in contention for a semi-final place, Suffolk were set a target of 216 to win yesterday's match at Copdock.
SUFFOLK kept alive their hopes of winning the 2006 Minor Counties Knock-out Trophy with a dramatic last-over victory against Norfolk.
Needing two points to stay in contention for a semi-final place, Suffolk were set a target of 216 to win yesterday's match at Copdock.
The game appeared to be slipping away from the home side as they needed 70 off the last 10 overs, but Toby Hembry, along with a late cameo performance from captain Phil Caley, guided the county to a four-wicket success with five balls to spare.
Hembry ended unbeaten on 85 while Caley, coming in at number eight, smashed 15 off only six balls.
Suffolk won their first game of the competition two weeks ago against Bedfordshire, but suffered a washout last week at Lincolnshire.
That meant Suffolk would be eliminated from the competition if they suffered a defeat against Norfolk, the 2005 winners.
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The hosts lost the toss and the visitors decided to bat but Andrew McGarry struck early on as he bowled Carl Amos in the first over.
After 20 overs Norfolk had crawled to 57 for one but Carl Rogers (101) and 37 off 30 deliveries from Chris Borrett pushed them on to 215 for five.
Suffolk made a bad start to their reply as Ben France and Andrew Mawson were dismissed with only 15 on the board.
Debutants Martyn Cull and Chris Schofield made 23 and 39 respectively while wicket-keeper Chris Warn also chipped in with 30.
However, Suffolk's progress was slow and they looked on course to be beaten as the run rate went up to more than nine an over.
But Justin Bishop's dismissal brought Caley to the crease and he showed his experience to again guide Suffolk over the winning line.
In the match against Bedfordshire he hit a match-winning 62 from 61 balls and this time he hit three boundaries and three singles from his six deliveries to put Suffolk within touching distance of the semi-finals.
Suffolk now have a winners-takes-all game next week at Staffordshire with the victors guaranteed a place in the next stage and only one game away from a Lord's final.
Kevin Brooks, Suffolk's director of cricket, was pleased with the character shown by his players. He said: “In the circumstances it was a great win. There was a little bit of pressure as it was one we had to win and the boys played really well.
“That's the best we have seen Toby play. We have always known he is capable of this kind of performance and it was a very mature innings.”
Brooks also paid tribute to captain Phil Caley, who again helped win a match for Suffolk.
“He has given so much to Suffolk over the years,” said Brooks. “We have a lot of depth in our team with Cales' experience to come into these situations - he does it time and time again.”