Swallow returns to lead Suffolk in quarter-finals

CRICKET: Chris Swallow returns to the Suffolk side as skipper in the absence of Justin Bishop for tomorrow’s Minor Counties KO Cup quarter-final tie away to Shropshire.

Swallow missed the drawn three-day Championship fixture against Lincolnshire at Sleaford earlier this week as his availability this season is limited due to his forthcoming wedding.

However, he is a key figure in Suffolk’s one-day side and his return is all the more timely due to Bishop being dogged by injury problems.

The Bury St Edmunds all-rounder did not bowl at Sleaford and will now see a specialist in a bid to get to the bottom of the knee ligament damage that is blighting his season.

Swallow in for Bishop is the only change to the Suffolk side for tomorrow’s 50-overs-a-side tie at Shrewsbury Cricket Club, start 11am, following their fortuitous draw at Sleaford, where the final day’s play was washed out with Suffolk struggling to avoid a heavy defeat.

Kevin Brooks, Suffolk’s director of cricket and coach, said: “It is the first time we have had our backs to the wall for some time now, and we can count our blessings this time with the rain working in our favour.

“It has probably worked against us more than for us in recent years so we are not disappointed.”

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Brooks said Lincolnshire were a strong bowling side while Suffolk lacked the experience of both Bishop and Swallow with the ball.

“Simon Rees, Peter Turnbull and James Finch are all young bowlers and the more they play the more experience they will get, but the game was a reminder of where we have got to be if we are to be successful this season.”

Brooks is hoping that Suffolk can put their below-par display quickly behind them, and that their 2007 victory in the competition will act as a spur to one-day success.

“Quite a few of our squad have tasted success in the KO Cup, so I am sure they retain good memories of our win at Lord’s,” he added.

The winners will be away to the winners of the Devon v Hertfordshire tie in the semi-finals, with this year’s final taking place the Durham’s Riverside venue.

Suffolk: T Huggins, B France, C Warn (wkt), H Adnan, F Klokker, M Cull, C Swallow Capt), S Rees, P Turnbull, P King, J Finch.

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