Task proves beyond Suffolk

TAKING 17 wickets in a day proved too big an ask for Suffolk as they had to settle for a draw in their Minor Counties Championship match against Bedfordshire yesterday.

Bedfordshire, starting the final day – the opening day had been abandoned without a ball being bowled – on 88 for three, still 302 adrift of Suffolk’s first innings total, were dismissed for 208 and duly asked to follow-on.

The visitors dug in second time around on what was still a good batting surface at the Victory Ground to reach 183 for five before stumps were drawn with one of the mandatory 17 overs in the last hour remaining.

Suffolk skipper Justin Bishop said afterwards: “It was always going to be tricky to win properly without setting up a game, but we gave ourselves a chance. We knew we were going to have to play some damned good cricket to win, so it was important to score heavily in our first innings when we batted first and we did that.

“With a little bit more luck, and if Matt Hunn had been able to bowl more in the second innings, we may have won it. Matt can only bowl three spells of seven overs in a day (under ECB regulations as he is under 19) and he bowled the majority of those in the first innings when we needed to take wickets to make them follow-on.

“That only left him with eight to bowl in the second innings, but there was still some sideways movement for the seamers and some turn and bounce for the spinners, and with two quality spinners in our side we felt we were in with a chance. We deserve credit for taking the match right to the death and coming close to a famous victory.”

Hunn, who is 18, recorded his best figures for Suffolk of four for 42 in the first innings and Tom Huggins also picked up four wickets as Bedfordshire were bowled out soon after lunch.

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Bishop struck with the fifth ball of their second innings and when ex-Derbyshire batsman Steve Stubbings fell just before tea to leave Bedfordshire 73 for three, Suffolk remained optimistic.

A stand of 79 between George Thurstance and Oliver Clayson dampened Suffolk’s spirits until both fell in consecutive overs with the score on 152, Clayson’s dismissal coming in the first of the 17 overs in the final hour.

But Andy Reynoldson and Ollie Swann ensured there were no further alarms as Bedfordshire secured the draw.

Bury St Edmunds scoreboard


First innings: 390 (M Cull 147, T Huggins 98, S Ward 48, A Reynoldson 6 for 95).


First innings (Overnight 88 for 3): O Clayson c Bishop b Hunn 30, C Griggs c Warn b Hunn 4, A Reynoldson c France b Huggins 37,

O Swann c Ward b Bishop 6, D Bendon c Ward b Huggins 39, G Arblaster lbw b Huggins 17, C Esh c Hunn b Huggins 0, A McGarry not out 7. Extras 17. Total (off 82.3 overs) 208.

Fall: 4-94, 5-107, 6-128, 7-148, 8-193, 9-193, 10-208.

Bowling: Hunn 18-7-42-4; Bishop 17-5-51-1; France 8-3-16-1; Swallow 17-4-37-0; Huggins 22.3-4-49-4.

Second innings: S Stubbings c Cull b Huggins 27, G Arblaster c Warn b Bishop 0, M Weightman lbw b Rash 36, G Thurstance c Cull b Huggins 38, O Clayson c Cull b Hunn 47, A Reynoldson not out 9, O Swann not out 22. Extras 4. Total (for 5 wkts, off 68 overs) 183.

Fall: 1-1, 2-52, 3-73, 4-152, 5-152.

Bowling: Bishop 11-3-22-1; Hunn 8-3-15-1; Huggins 23-6-76-2; France 9-1-25-0; Rash 5-2-9-1; Adnan 1-1-0-0; Swallow 11-2-34-0.

Suffolk (12pts) drew with Bedfordshire (9pts).

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