Teenager Donald Mlambo is the star of the show for Copdock

Copdock skipper, Tom Rash, in action with the bat. He was very impressed with teenager Donald Mlambo

Copdock skipper, Tom Rash, in action with the bat. He was very impressed with teenager Donald Mlambo's performance last weekend.

Copdock & Old Ipswichian were both helped and thwarted by the weather, as they missed a chance to challenge for top spot in the East Anglian Premier League with a draw at Vauxhall Mallards last Saturday.

Mallards won the toss and fielded, and they soon had Copdock staring down the barrel at a likely defeat when reducing the visitors to 122 for eight.

Suffolk county stalwart, Martyn Cull, made a patient 54 at No. 3, accumulated off 134 balls, before he was the fifth wicket to fall with the score on 102.

But it was Ipswich teenager, Donald Mlambo, who was the real star of the show as he rescued Copdock with a highly impressive 43 not out, achieved off 59 balls, batting at No. 8.

Mlambo, aged 17, put on 41 for the ninth wicket with Hugo Douglas (13), and then 23 for the last wicket with Matt Wareing as Copdock ended their innings on 186 for nine off 64 overs.

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Mallards were on course for victory, with openers Mitchell Todd (47) and John Ewart (17) sharing a half-century partnership for the first wicket, before the rain intervened.

After a rain delay of nearly two hours, the teams reappeared and the game was completely changed. A new juiced-up wicket enabled Copdock to take wickets at regular intervals.

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Captain Tom Rash took four for 47 off 13 overs, and there were two wickets each for Wareing and Jack Beaumont, but Mallards held on for a draw on 124 for nine from a reduced 33 overs.

Asked whether it was a “frustrating” draw, skipper Rash said: “Yes and no, because I must admit that we had a little bit of help from the weather.”

Rash continued: “I lost the toss again – I’ve only won one all year – and batting was really difficult after all the recent rain.

“The ball did everything for their star bowler, Paul Bradshaw (four wickets), and we struggled a bit, although we didn’t panic.

“Martyn (Cull) dug in, as he does, but it was young Donald Mlambo who really shone for us. It was a brilliant knock from the youngster, who showed us more senior players how it should be done. He played with no fear whatsoever.

“We started taking wickets, after the rain-break, but didn’t take their ninth wicket until the last over, when we had just two balls left. It was a pity we didn’t have a couple more overs to get that final wicket,” added Rash.

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