Suffolk on the back foot

SUFFOLK have it all to do if they are to start their Minor Counties Championship campaign on a winning note after a disappointing day at Luton.

After rain saw the opening day abandoned without a ball being bowled, Bedfordshire’s bowlers made the most of the conditions to dismiss their visitors for 195, before reaching 156 for four – a deficit of 39 – in reply on day two.

Drizzle delayed the scheduled earlier start time by half an hour and when play got under way Suffolk, who were put into bat, struggled as the ball moved around under the cloud cover.

Skipper Justin Bishop, who has been in fine form with the bat this season, was promoted to open the innings but fell leg before to former Essex and Suffolk team mate Andrew McGarry in the ninth over. A promising stand of 39 in 11 overs between Tom Huggins and Martyn Cull was ended when Huggins played a poor shot in the first over of Ziggy Arshad’s second spell and was bowled.

Huggins had made 54 from 65 balls with nine fours and had taken 20 off Arshad’s opening two overs, but his dismissal sparked a collapse of four wickets for three runs.


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Hassan Adnan pushed outside off stump and was caught behind fourth ball for a duck and Cull was held at slip as he attempted a drive in the next over. Chris Warn lasted just two deliveries before he was caught at the wicket off a good ball in the 24th over as three wickets fell with the score on 79.

Debutant Scott Harvey and Ben France, who had dropped down the order, then dug in and added 35 in 140 balls until Harvey was caught behind in the 47th over. Two overs later Simon Rees had his middle stump cartwheeled out of the ground.

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Phil Edwards, on his return after injury, did not last long before France found an ally in James Finch in a ninth-wicket partnership of 66 off 82 deliveries. Finch had contributed 20 when he offered no stroke and was bowled.

When Ben Stephens skied to behind square leg France was left on 67 not out crafted from 131 balls and containing eight fours and one six flicked off his legs in front of square.

Bedfordshire’s Dan Simpson and Greg Evans raised a half-century opening partnership before France removed the former, caught at first slip in the 18th over, and three overs later Evans was caught behind,.

Ex-Derbyshire batsman Steve Stubbings was trapped lbw by the first ball of Edwards’ second spell in the 37th over and six overs later Ollie Clayson hooked to deep fine leg where Stephens held the catch.

Luton scoreboard

SUFFOLK

First innings: T Huggins b Arshad 54, J Bishop lbw b McGarry 6, M Cull c Stubbings b Arshad 18, H Adnan c Arblaster b McGarry 0, B France not out 67, C Warn c Arblaster b Arshad 0, S Harvey c Arblaster c Griggs 14, S Rees b Griggs 0, P Edwards c Arblaster b McGarry 2, J Finch b Griggs 20, B Stephens c Evans b Griggs 2. Extras 12.Total (off 68.5 overs) 195.

Fall: 1-37, 2-76, 3-79, 4-79, 5-79, 6-114, 7-120, 8-123, 9-189, 10-195.

Bowling: McGarry 23-8-50-3; Arshad 11-3-59-3; Weightman 9-2-38-0; Esh 11-5-13-0; Griggs 14.5-4-29-4.

BEDFORDSHIRE

First innings: D Simpson c Huggins b France 30, G Evans c Warn b Bishop 23, S Stubbings lbw b Edwards 25, A Craig not out 28,

O Clayson c Stephens b Edwards 23, M Weightman not out 21. Extras 6. Total (for 4 wkts, off 54 overs) 156.

Still to bat: G Arblaster, C Esh, Z Arshad, C Griggs, A McGarry.

Fall: 1-55, 2-59, 3-100, 4-128.

Bowling: Edwards 14-4-37-2; Stephens 5-0-22-0; France 13-4-33-1; Bishop 13-3-30-1; Finch 9-0-32-0.

Bedfordshire 4pts, Suffolk 2pts.

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