Three centuries and 27 sixes in Sudbury thriller against Witham

Darren Batch

Darren Batch - Credit: Archant

Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship pace-setters Sudbury suffered their first defeat of the season, following a thrilling duel with fellow high-fliers Witham on Saturday.

Hosts Sudbury, who had won their first seven matches of the season in Division One, posted a seemingly match-winning total of 334 for six off their 50 overs, with Tom Huggins and Darren Batch both hitting centuries.

Huggins struck eight sixes and 13 boundaries in his knock of 145, the Suffolk skipper sharing a second wicket partnership of 248 runs with Batch, who helped himself to a couple of sixes and 17 boundaries.

However, Witham mounted a successful chase, centred around a superb innings from Leroy Facey, to secure a stunning victory by three wickets, scoring the winning runs off the penulitmate delivery.

After losing Jake Wakelin for a duck, and then Sam Cooper with the score on just 34, Facey arrived at the crease to partner opener Kaan Hawkes in a 221 stand for the third wicket.

Hawkes was eventually bowled by Huggins for 90, but Facey remained to oversee a quite remarkable victory. He finished on 173 not out, having struck 11 sixes and 16 boundaries.

It was certainly entertaining fare for all the spectators lucky enough to witness this pulsating encounter, which featured a total of 669 runs and 27 sixes.

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But it was a game to forget for Sudbury youngster Billy Moulton-Day, who damaged his hamstring after bowling just eight deliveries at the top of the Witham innings.

This injury meant that he missed the chance to make his Minor Counties Championship debut for Suffolk, the following day against Lincolnshire.

Saturday’s win cemented Witham’s position in third spot, behind leaders Sudbury and second-placed Mildenhall.

Also in Division One, Halstead hammered hosts Maldon by 154 runs in an all-Essex clash.

Josh Wells top-scored with 93 in Halstead’s total of 258 for eight, and also took a couple of wickets as Maldon were skittled out for just 104. Charlie Douglas-Hughes took three for nine off four overs.

Elswhere, Jimmy Reece hit 116 in Coggeshall’s total of 277, as they beat Worlington by 72 runs.

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