Suffolk in charge against Norfolk despite frustrating last-wicket stand
PUBLISHED: 20:11 22 July 2018 | UPDATED: 20:11 22 July 2018
Suffolk finished in a strong position at the end of day one of their Minor Counties Championship match against rivals Norfolk, at Copdock today.
The hosts restricted Norfolk to a modest 259 for nine off 90 overs, before then breezing to 76 without loss from 18 overs during the last hour or so of the final session.
It could have even better for Suffolk, however, because they had their opponents staring down the barrel at 189 for nine, before the last pair of Brett Stolworthy (38 not out) and Sam Groves (23) added a patient 70 for the last wicket to rescue the situation.
It was a frustrating spell for Suffolk, but they remain in the box seat – they are just 183 runs behind, with all 10 wickets in tact, going into tomorrow’s second day.
Former Essex stalwart Jaik Mickleburgh and captain Adam Mansfield were still there at the close, Mickleburgh 41 not out off 58 balls, having struck eight boundaries. Mansfield was unbeaten on 35 from 50 balls.
Earlier, after Norfolk captain Chris Brown had won the toss and opted to bat first, Suffolk bowled with discipline as the wickets were shared around in a real team effort.
The quartet of Michael Comber, debutant Ollie Bocking, Jack Beaumont and Darron Ironside all took two wickets, after opening bowler Tom Rash had made the initial breakthrough by having Jason Reynolds caught behind by wicketkeeper Mansfield for a second-ball duck.
Fellow opener Sam Arthurton played the major innings for Norfolk, but none of his team-mates managed to get beyond 40.
Former Ipswich School right-arm bowler Bocking, who plays his club cricket for Colchester & East Essex, removed top order batsmen Tom New (23) and Will Rogers (31), both caught by Mansfield, to leave Norfolk on 96 for three.
Arthurton and the experienced Ben France than added 65 for the fourth wicket, which was the biggest partnership of the innings until the undefeated last-wicket stand.
Arthurton had made 78 off 128 balls when he was caught and bowled by Frinton all-rounder Comber, and Copdock & Old Ipswichian spinner Beaumont got rid of danger-man France, caught by Kyran Young for 30.
In fact, Norfolk lost six wickets for just 28 runs to slump to 189 for nine, but try as they might, Suffolk could not dislodge the stubborn last wicket pairing.
But it was still a good day for the home county.