Suffolk on top after opening day's play

SUFFOLK ended the first day of their Minor Counties Championship game against Cumberland at Ransomes Sports Club, Sidegate Avenue, Ipswich in the driving seat.

Elvin King

SUFFOLK ended the first day of their Minor Counties Championship game against Cumberland at Ransomes Sports Club, Sidegate Avenue, Ipswich in the driving seat.

Having had their opening match rained off with a ball being bowled against Bedfordshire at Dunstable three weeks ago, Suffolk were looking to get their season on track with a win against the side from the north west.

And thanks to a scintillating knock from skipper Phil Caley - and four late Cumberland wickets - they have given then a chance to pick up a maximum 24 points.

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Suffolk won the toss and elected to bat, but once Tom Huggins had been bowled it was slow going for some while with Ben France having to steady the ship.

Hassan Adnan, playing his first Championship game after moving from Derbyshire, was out to the first ball of Cumberland skipper Marcus Sharp's second spell caught at slip.

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Caley strode in at the fall of France's wicket, and the game changed complexion. He struck anything just off a length with considerable force and received suitable support from first Chris Warn and then Chris Swallow as the scoreboard began to tick along merrily.

Just when Caley looked poised to score a notable century on one of his favourite grounds, he mis-timed an on-drive and was held low at mid-wicket.

But it had been a supreme innings and one in a long line of memorable knocks Caley has produced for his county.

Suffolk were on course to take maximum batting bonus points when Caley was swinging his bat to such good effect, but when they lost two wickets in two balls and were 300 for nine - 25 runs short of the fourth bonus points figure - this did not look likely.

But Bury St Edmunds youngster Simon Rees - on his Championship debut - and Andrew McGarry had other ideas and put together a bright 57-run partnership for the final wicket.

McGarry's previous highest score was six not out and his aggregate runs from his previous 13 Suffolk innings had been just 28.

And McGarry gained a wicket with a short leg catch - to follow two earlier Justin Bishop wickets - to put Suffolk in the box seat going into the second day that starts at 11am.

Chris Swallow grabbed a wicket as well with Cumberland needing to score a total of 208 to avoid following on. Much will depend on the quality of their lower order having made six changes from their previous game.

Suffolk were without batsman Nick Lee because of an eye infection with Clacton's Martyn Cull coming in to take his place.

The home side had six Suffolk-born players in their side at a ground where the pavilion has received a lick of paint since the last county game here 12 months ago.

Although it was mainly sunny there was a keen wind blowing across the ground, and visiting keeper Callum Moffatt had to chase all the way to the boundary to retrieve his cap following a strong gust.


Suffolk 5 bonus pts, Cumberland 4 bonus pts.


First innings

T Huggins b Dawson 15

B France c Gorley b Cleave 44

M Cull lbw b Kirwin 4

H Adnan c Lowe b Sharp 14

C Warn c Miller b Kirwin 38

P Caley c Burrows b Miller 83

C Swallow c Moffatt b Miller 55

J Bishop b Miller 15

S Rees not out 26

P King lbw b Miller 0

A McGarry b Kirwin 32

Extras 31

Total (80.4 overs) 357

Fall of wkts: 1-31, 2-56, 3-93, 4-97, 5-175, 6-263, 7-297, 8-300, 9-300,

Bowling: Gorley 14-2-54-0, Sharp 8-3-26-1, Dawson 16-2-62-1, Kirwin 16.4-1-71-3, Gleave 9-1-45-1, Miller 17-4-79-4


First innings

J Lowe c Adnan b Bishop 13

A Gleave not out 30

S Burrows c Adnan b Bishop 8

G Pratt c King b McGarry 21

J Miles c Cull b Swallow 12

S Kirwin not out 4

Extras 9

Total (4 wkts, 27 overs) 97

Fall of wkts: 1-27, 2-37, 3-66, 4-92.

Bowling: McGarry 9-4-28-1, Bishop 9-0-43-2, Rees 3-012-0, King 5-2-8-0, Swallow 2-1-1-1.

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