Suffolk wrap up nine-wicket win

SUFFOLK wrapped up a third successive Minor Counties Championship victory today.

The visitors dominated day two of their match against Buckinghamshire at Gerrards Cross, the home team leading by just 17 runs with only three second innings wickets still standing.

Suffolk reduced their hosts to 122 for seven and finished the job off today to maintain their lead at the top of the Eastern Division table.

Bucks were bowled out for 146, leaving Suffolk 42 to win - a task they achieved for the loss of Tom Huggins.

Suffolk stook a first innings lead of 105 and when Bucks batted again Simon Rees provided the initial breakthrough, removing Hamzal Taj with the ninth ball of the innings, before Essex duo Michael Comber and Tony Palladino shared five wickets between them.

They both bowled well and, backed up by some smart catches, have left Bucks fighting what was a lost cause to save the match.

Stand-in skipper Tom Huggins’ first slip catch low down to account for Taj was matched by James Finch’s excellent effort at second slip to dismiss top-scorer Paul Sawyer.

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Finch also made a hard-hit return chance offered by Mark Hardinges look easy before skipper Jason Harrison and David Cranfield-Thompson dug in to try and rescue the innings.

Harrison, who faced 69 balls for his nine runs, and Cranfield-Thompson, whose 21 occupied 51 deliveries, both fell in the last 10 minutes of the day’s play as Suffolk tightened their stranglehold on the match.

After Huggins had earlier fallen for the addition of just four runs to his overnight total and Comber for a duck on debut, Hassan Adnan and Pete Turnbull took control in a stand which yielded 124 runs in 85 balls after coming together in the 28th over.

Adnan, whose 50 came from 119 balls and contained four fours and one six, was out in the 58th over, but Turnbull carried on to record his highest score for the county of 89 made from 124 deliveries with 14 fours.

Chris Warn cracked an undefeated 53 (76 balls, five fours and one six) and shared in a seventh-wicket alliance of 69 with Palladino, the latter’s 42 ending when he drove the ball back at Simon Stanway for a return catch.

Sasha Ward, the 17-year-old debutant, was trapped leg before for a single, but Warn and Finch (22 in 19 balls) added a further 36 in the final five overs of the maximum 90.

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