Suffolk take control as duo score tons

MARTYN Cull and Hassan Adnan both celebrated their first hundreds for Suffolk as the hosts put Hertfordshire to the sword at the Victory Ground, Bury St Edmunds, on day one yesterday.

Carl Marston

MARTYN Cull and Hassan Adnan both celebrated their first hundreds for Suffolk as the hosts put Hertfordshire to the sword at the Victory Ground, Bury St Edmunds, on day one yesterday.

Suffolk are in with a shout of snatching the Minor Counties Champiomship Eastern Division title, depending on this result and others elsewhere, and they took charge with some confident batting during their first innings.

They reached 364 for the loss of just two wickets, with both Cull and Adnan posting unbeaten centuries in an unbroken stand of 192 for the third wicket.

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Earlier, Ben France weighed in with an impressive innings of 91. The only Suffolk batsman to miss out on the run-feast was fellow opener Tom Huggins, although he had the consolation of being awarded his county cap at the start of the day.

It was a proud moment for Suffolk stalwart Huggins. And he quickly helped himself to a couple of boundaries before being caught off opening bowler Arran Laraman for 11, with the score on just 12.

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Hertfordshire had put Suffolk in to bat, a decision they were to regret later in the day, despite the early scalp of Huggins.

France and Cull advanced the score to 107 for one at lunch - play did not start until midday due to overnight rain - and they gradually increased the tempo to lay the foundations for a formidable total.

France reached his half-century off 115 balls, with Cull taking just six deliveries more. The partnership was finally broken midway through the afternoon, when France was caught by Nick Lamb off Ryce Wynne with the total on 172.

Ex-Derbyshire professional Adnan joined Cull and soon took the initiative. Clacton batsman Cull chalked up his first century for the county, off 194 balls after four hours and 20 minutes at the crease, and Adnan made sure that Suffolk picked up their final batting point with some exuberant hitting.

Adnan reached his ton in just 128 balls, to further demoralise Hertfordshire. And it didn't get any better for the visitors during their tricky 40 minutes of play at the end of the day.

Former Essex fast bowler Andrew McGarry dismissed both Hemish Ilangaratine and Dan Blacktopp as Hertfordshire stumbled to 26 for two before play was halted just before 7.30pm due to bad light.

Kevin Brooks, Suffolk's Director of Cricket, said: “It was just what the doctor ordered. Conditions were difficult early on, because the wicket had sweated under the covers.

“We lost the toss and they put us into bat. We would probably have put them in if we had won the toss, so it was perhaps a good toss to lose, although we were confident that we would have taken some wickets early on.”

Before this last round of matches, Lincolnshire were 14 points clear of second-placed Cambridgeshire, with Suffolk a further point adrift in third.

Skipper Phil Caley was not required to bat yesterday, which means he is still just six runs short of Simon Clements' record of 9,219 runs for the county in the Minor Counties Championship.

Victory Ground scoreboard


First innings

T Huggins c Blacktopp b Laraman 11

B France c Lamb b Wynne 91

M Cull not out 138

H Adnan not out 105

Extras 9nb 2w 4b 4lb 19

Total (for 2, 90 overs) 364

Fall: 1-12 2-172.

Bowling: Laraman 20-1-70-1, Hicks 15-1-70-0, Wynne 12-4-38-1, Lamb 14-1-58-0, Southgate 16-2-76-0, White 8-1-44-0.


First innings

H Ilangaratine c Cull b McGarry 0

G Brown not out 10

D Blacktopp c & b McGarry 7

T Wynne not out 1

Extras 6lb 6

Total (for 2, off 9 overs) 26

Fall: 1-2 2-22

Bowling: McGarry 4-1-6-2, Smith 4-0-10-0, Swallow 1-0-2-0.

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