Suffolk’s championship hopes are over
SUFFOLK’S chances of lifting this year’s Eastern Division title in the Minor Counties Championship were ended yesterday when they lost to Norfolk by eight wickets at Horsford.
The visitors can have no complaints about the outcome, after being outplayed by their opponents over the course of the three days.
With Cambridgeshire collecting the full 24 points in their victory over Northumberland yesterday and Suffolk picking up just three points, Suffolk can no longer claim the divisional title.
Suffolk required something special yesterday if they were to turn this match around, and although they hung in there for most of the day – Norfolk won with just 22 balls to spare – it was a backs-to-the-wall effort to avoid defeat.
Resuming on 109 for five – still 12 runs short of their hosts having to bat for a second time – Suffolk’s overnight not-out batsmen dug in.
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James Finch was finally out in the 82nd over of the innings – the 41st over of the day – to become the first of slow left-armer George Walker’s four victims yesterday. It brought to an end a sixth-wicket stand with skipper Justin Bishop of 41 made from 255 deliveries across two hours and seven minutes.
Bishop’s resistance ended much to his annoyance off what proved to be the last ball before lunch when he was caught by ex-Surrey all-rounder David Ward at slip for 42.
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That left Tom Huggins, who was able to bat yesterday despite dislocating a finger the previous day, to bat with the tail. He added 42 with Bury St Edmunds team-mate Tom Rash, whose contribution was nine before he was caught, in 163 balls spanning 92 minutes.
Walker wrapped up the innings by trapping both Phil Edwards and Matt Hunn lbw in the 122nd and 126th overs respectively. That left Huggins stranded on 43 not out from 114 deliveries compiled in 145 minutes. He struck two fours and a six over mid-wicket as a final act of defiance before the conclusion of the innings.
It was pretty turgid stuff for the spectators – Suffolk’s 211 runs coming from 125.1 overs which included 632 dot balls.
It meant that Norfolk required 91 for victory - a target that was comfortably achieved off 26.2 overs.
Matthew Warnes fell leg before to Finch in the 17th over after a 103-ball opening partnership of 51 with James Spelman.
Ben France then accounted for Sam Arthurton in similar fashion seven overs later, but that was to be the extent of Suffolk’s success.
Spelman, whose first innings 138 provided the platform for Norfolk’s victory, ended on 46 not out (84 balls with four fours) while Ward’s 19 came from just 10 deliveries, finishing with a flourish as he straight drove Finch for four and then deposited him over mid-wicket for six to end the match.
First innings: 181 (C Brown 5 for 31).
Second innings (Overnight 109 for 5): J Bishop c Ward b Walker 42, J Finch lbw b Walker 11, T Huggins not out 43, T Rash c Ward b Brown 9, P Edwards lbw b Walker 1, M Hunn lbw b Walker 0. Extras 15. Total (off 125.1 overs) 211.
Fall: 6-2147, 7-152, 8-194, 9-201, 10-211.
Bowling: MW Warnes 12-3-26-1; Bunting 11-4-19-0; Brown 55-24-56-4; Walker 41.1-13-84-5; Spelman 6-1-12-0.
First innings: 302 for 6 dec (J Spelman 138, MR Warnes 49).
Second innings: J Spelman not out 46, MR Warnes lbw b Finch 15, S Arthurton lbw b France 9, T Ward not out 19. Extras 4. Total (for 2 wkts, off 26.2 overs) 93.
Fall: 1-51, 2-72.
Bowling: Finch 10.2-0-39-1; Edwards 4-2-9-0; Hunn 3-0-16-0; Huggins 5-0-18-0; France 4-0-9-1.
Norfolk (23pts) by Suffolk (3) by 8 wkts