Suffolk Over-50s dreams of semi-final spot shattered

SUFFOLK’S run in the National ECB Over-50s Championship came to an end at the quarter-final stage against Hampshire on Sunday.

The visitors won by five wickets at Bury St Edmunds, to shatter Suffolk’s hopes of a first-ever semi-final appearance.

Suffolk totalled 176 for eight in their 45 overs, thanks to 42 from opener Simon Halliday.

They were struggling at 81 for six, before a superb stand of 75 off 86 balls between wicket-keeper Nick Crame (39) and Ivan Whitehart (36 not out) for the seventh wicket.

Suffolk have been brilliant at defending small totals this season, but these have been on wet or poor wickets and the wicket at the Victory Ground was blameless for the hosts’ 50 below-par total.

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The visitors took 36 off the first three overs as Tony Oxley (30) and Ian Britton (31) posted an opening partnership of 60 in reply, before Suffolk took two wickets in quick succession to raise hopes of a home success.

However, Colin Day top-scored with 59 before being trapped lbw by Suffolk skipper Tony Stubbs, and shared in a fourth-wicket stand of 65 from 86 balls with Dave Griffiths.

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Suffolk’s Nigel Dennis was his usual economical self, with figures of 9-4-22-2, and Stubbs took 9-1-27-1 while Guy Robins returned 9-1-29-0, but hard as Suffolk scrapped it was to no avail as Hampshire won with 11 balls to spare.

Hampshire were the better team on the day and deserved their victory over a below-par Suffolk, who can take credit for being the smallest county to reach the quarter-finals.

Six of those eight were first-class counties, if you include the tenuous link between Wales Over-50s and Glamorgan.

The eighth quarter-finalists were Lincolnshire, who finished runners-up in their group to Suffolk.

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