Suffolk's cup reign hangs by thread

SUFFOLK'S reign as Minor Counties KO Cup holders is hanging by a thread after losing to Norfolk by 14 runs at Woodbridge School yesterday.After losing their opening group game to Northumberland a week earlier, Suffolk really needed to defeat Norfolk to realistically retain any chance of finishing in one of the two qualifying positions.

Nick Garnham

SUFFOLK'S reign as Minor Counties KO Cup holders is hanging by a thread after losing to Norfolk by 14 runs at Woodbridge School yesterday.

After losing their opening group game to Northumberland a week earlier, Suffolk really needed to defeat Norfolk to realistically retain any chance of finishing in one of the two qualifying positions.

Suffolk will now have two win their final two games and rely on other results going in their favour if they are to progress beyond the group stage in their defence of the trophy they won at Lord's for the first time.


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Suffolk fell short of their target of 261 in their allotted 50 overs despite an opening stand of 102 between Tom Huggins and Ben France.

When France fell in the 23rd over for 50, which occupied 65 balls and contained six fours, Huggins became becalmed and went nearly an hour without hitting a boundary as Norfolk's slow bowlers assumed control.

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The run rate began to climb and Huggins' frustration got the better of him as he was stumped by Darren Smith for 75 laced with eight boundaries to end a third-wicket alliance of 74 with Hassan Adnan in the 40th over.

Suffolk faltered as only Justin Bishop was able to put bat to bowl with any positive effect, striking two sixes over long on, albeit the second off the last ball of the match, that landed on top of the cricket nets in his undefeated 40 from just 30 balls.

The hosts were left to rue three overs in the visitors' innings after Norfolk won the toss and chose to bat first. Captain Paul King introduced himself to the attack in the 14th over and went for 20 and two overs later France conceded 18 runs. The 48th over of the innings, also bowled by France, cost 22.

Jake Mickleburgh top-scored for Norfolk with 62 (six fours, 81 balls) after Carl Amos and James Spelman added 78 for the third wicket. Mickleburgh and all-rounder Chris Brown then put on 65 for the sixth wicket in 33 minutes as Suffolk's attack wilted in the closing stages.

Suffolk skipper King said: "We are not out of it yet as two teams qualify and the mood in the camp is still positive.

"We felt we had a chance to win it today when we were bowling and batting but let it slip in the last ten overs of both disciplines.

"We felt they got 20 runs too many despite a good spell by Andrew McGarry at the start of their innings and then Justin Bishop and Chris Swallow both bowled well.

"When we batted players got in and then got out at unfortunate times. With 15 overs to go we were 20 runs up on them and had lost one wicket less, so it was a disappointing finish to our innings as no-one really took it on, although to be honest they bowled better at the death."

Woodbridge scoreboard

Nofolk won by 14 runs.

NORFOLK

T Ward b McGarry 8

C Amos c King b Swallow 54

C Rogers b McGarry 8

J Spelman c Warn b Bishop 30

J Mickleburgh b McGarry 62

C Borrett st Warn b Swallow 30

C Brown not out 34

G Walker not out 10

Extras 24

Total (for 6 wkts) 260

Bowling: McGarry 9-2-36-3; Smith 8-0-49-0; King 1-0-20-0; Bishop 10-0-37-1; France 10-0-70-0; Swallow 10-0-34-2; Huggins 2-0-10-0.

Fall: 1-10, 2-18, 3-96, 4-134, 5-183, 6-248.

SUFFOLK

T Huggins st Smith b Walker 75

B France lbw b Rogers 50

A Mawson c Ward b Brown 4

H Adnan c Spelman b Walker 48

J Bishop not out 40

N Lee c Amos b Eccles 6

C Swallow c Mickleburgh b Brown 1

C Warn c Smith b Eccles 0

P King c c Borrett b Walker 3

M Smith not out 0

Extras 19

Total (for 8 wkts) 246

Bowling: Eccles 10-0-57-2; Todd 10-1-42-0; Brown 10-2-29-2; Walker 10-0-80-3; Rogers 10-1-35-1.

Fall: 1-102, 2-107, 3-181, 4-194, 5-218, 6-222, 7-226, 8-240.

THE ECB will be holding interviews this week for a new cricket development manager in Suffolk.

Michael Kay, who took over from Rod Blackmore two years ago, left his post on Friday to take up a new position as cricket development manager for women's and girls' cricket in London.

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