Suffolk’s victory bid thwarted

SUFFOLK endured a frustrating day as their Minor Counties Championship match against Northumberland ended in a draw at Mildenhall yesterday.

Left to score 262 in a minimum of 34 overs, the task proved beyond Suffolk, who closed on 184 for six at Wamil Way.

The result leaves Suffolk still top of the Eastern Division – five points ahead of Lincolnshire and seven ahead of Bedfordshire, who meet in their final match while Suffolk face Cumberland at Sedbergh School.

Yesterday’s target was always going to be a tall order, and so it proved, with Suffolk calling off the chase following the loss of two wickets in the space of four balls and 107 still required from less than 10 overs and just four wickets left.

They had started well, Tom Huggins and Ben France sharing an opening partnership of 52 inside 12 overs before France was bowled.

Huggins started to open up and unfurled some cracking drives to find the boundaries Suffolk required if they were to achieve their target.

However, after reaching his half-century with the aid of four overthrows he was adjudged lbw, a decision he was clearly not happy with, lingering at the crease before kicking the turf in frustration. Not only did the ball strike him high but he felt he had edged it.

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The stand-in skipper had struck six fours in 59 balls faced before succumbing to the third ball of the 19th over with the total on 104.

Martyn Cull and Hassan Adnan were both caught trying to clear the ring of infielders, but Suffolk continued in pursuit of the runs until Freddie Klokker and Michael Comber, who was starting to play some big shots, perished in the space of four balls.

Northumberland had started the day on 139 for two – a lead of 85 – and Suffolk had to work hard to capture their eight remaining wickets.

Mark Dale added 18 runs to his overnight total before falling lbw to France, who bowled an impressive spell from the pavilion end and was rewarded with three wickets.

Richard Waite was superbly run out by Klokker, who produced a goalkeeper-style dive to stop the ball at cover point followed by an accurate throw to leave the batsman stranded.

France then snared Gary Scott leg before after reaching his fifty, before Adam Cragg sliced a drive to Darren Batch at backward point.

Chris Warn then claimed two catches off Bury St Edmunds team mate Mark Nunn, Marc Symington bizarrely scooping the ball into the wicket-keeper’s gloves to leave Northumberland 279 for eight.

The last two wickets added a further 36 runs as well as eating into valuable time so far as Suffolk were concerned, leaving them minimum of just 34 overs to reach their target.

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