Suffolk made to work hard for victory

SUFFOLK had to work hard to win their third Minor Counties championship game of the season when the Staffordshire tail put up some stern resistance at Stone yesterday.

By Elvin King

SUFFOLK had to work hard to win their third Minor Counties championship game of the season when the Staffordshire tail put up some stern resistance at Stone yesterday.

Having claimed five wickets on Monday evening for just 36 runs, the visitors fancied their chances of gaining a quick result.

But, with the home side putting together partnerships of 92 and 91 as the wicket got more placid, Suffolk were kept in the sunshine until 3.40pm.


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They persevered and fully deserved the 21 points they gained, which was made up of 16 for a win plus four bowling bonus points and one batting bonus point.

This keeps them five points behind Buckinghamshire going into the final games, with Bucks also gaining 21 points for their win over Bedfordshire.

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Lincolnshire are also in the equation to win the Eastern Division title and play Suffolk at Bury St Edmunds on Sunday week in their final game. Bucks have a stiff task when they play at Northumberland.

There were no wickets in the first hour at Stone yesterday as the score went up to 100 in 17 overs.

Robert King was out in the next over after completing a half century when caught by the stretching Tom Huggins as they ball looped up.

Chris Swallow claimed the wicket and bowled 26 consecutive overs of off spin on a day when Suffolk missed the inured leg spinner Chris Schofield, who has a hamstring problem.

King and his skipper Richard Harvey had put on 91 by the time the former departed and Suffolk were still being held up until Huggins came on with his part-time off breaks to have Harvey well caught by Paul King.

But Staffs refused to submit in a town made famous during the reign of Henry VIII for their bear-bating and cock-fighting.

Paul Goodwin was well caught by Chris Warn standing up to give Justin Bishop his 11th wicket of the game but then Craig Barker and Gareth Morris put on a 92-run partnership for the ninth wicket.

Suffolk were beginning to get a little concerned as the score crept closer to 300, although realistically the home side had little chance of reaching their target of 395.

Barker was out when the ball went into the air following a sweep to be caught by Warn and in the next over King bowled Rashid with a perfect fast yorker.

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