Suffolk wrap up emphatic two-day win
SUFFOLK wrapped up an emphatic Minor Counties Championship win inside two days against Staffordshire at Ipswich School yesterday.
They pocketed the maximum 24 points available thanks to a crushing 10-wicket victory to firmly signal their credentials as title contenders once again this season.
Starting the day on 120 for one – 153 runs behind Staffordshire – Suffolk’s batsmen made hay in the sunshine, none more so than opener Tom Huggins. He figured in two more century partnerships as he plundered 170 – his highest score for Suffolk – from 238 balls with one six and 20 fours.
Huggins figured in a second-wicket stand of exactly 100 with Martyn Cull before the latter was out in the 58th over for 57 off 101 deliveries with five fours. The in-form Freddie Klokker then joined Huggins in a fourth-wicket alliance that realised 109 runs in just 61 minutes before Huggins was dismissed with the total on 378.
Klokker fell for 56 (54 balls, one six and four fours) before Chris Warn (17 off 10 balls) and Tony Palladino (27 not out) added to the visitor’s woes as Suffolk declared with a commanding first-innings lead of 159.
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Staffordshire offered little resistance as they were swept aside second time around. Opener Peter Wilshaw’s 25 occupied 90 balls before he was fourth out to Chris Swallow, who had earlier claimed his 100th championship victim first ball after tea.
Swallow claimed a third wicket to give him eight in the match and fellow spinner James Finch picked up four scalps including Ben McGuire, whose 31 came from 53 balls with three fours and a six.
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Finch bowled David Edwards with the scores level, and when the Staffordshire bowler overstepped with his first delivery it was all over.
Swallow, who made his debut in 1999, said of reaching his century landmark: “It has been a long time coming, but I am really, really chuffed.” The win gives Suffolk 54 points from their opening three championship matches and Swallow added: “If you said this is where we will stand half-way through the season we would have bitten your hand off.”