Tom Huggins and Darren Batch plunder centuries in big Sudbury win
Champions Sudbury continued their impressive start to the season, thanks to big centuries from the experienced duo of Tom Huggins and Darren Batch in an 88-run win at Burwell & Exning on Saturday
Huggins and Batch made the most of a good batting wicket, and the short boundaries, to rattle up a huge score of 354 for eight off the allotted 50 overs.
And Jonathan Gallagher then took three early wickets in Burwell’s reply to effectively kill off the match as a contest.
The hosts recovered to a respectable 266 for nine off their 50 overs, with Jamie Seabrook blasting to an unbeaten century, but Sudbury had already taken their foot off the gas by then.
Following on from an opening day thrashing of Bury St Edmunds, when Huggins also notched a century (105), and the previous weekend’s complete washout, Sudbury have lost no time in trying to defend the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League title which they won for the first-ever time in 2017.
After losing Adam Mansfield early on, with the total on 11, first-team skipper Huggins and club captain Batch joined forces in a match-winning partnership of 281 on a very warm afternoon.
Opener Huggins plundered 158 off 125 balls, with seven sixes and 20 fours, while Batch powered to an excellent 108 off 120 deliveries, with six sixes and 11 boundaries.
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“It was good to be involved in a big partnership, early on in the summer, and it’s always a delight to bat with Tom (Huggins), especially when he is in such a rich vein of form” enthused Suffolk county batsman Batch.
“I joined him early on and, as always, there was a period of consolidation to make sure that we kept ourselves in.
“But quite quickly, Tom’s mood turned to one of a more positive note. He is always one to set higher and higher targets, and he was saying that we should push on to try and get to 400.
“It was a good pitch, and one of the boundaries (at Mingay Park) was particularly short, which were able to exploit.
“A good thing about Tom’s captaincy is that he is always pushing and trying to set new challenges. That’s something he has always done.
“He is never satisfied, like in the first match against Bury, when we scored 300 (302) but he still wanted us to get more.
“We both managed to hit several sixes which went quite a long way over the boundary,” added Batch.
Huggins was eventually dismissed for 158, caught by Ben Seabrook off opening bowler Sam Rippington with the total on 292, and Batch soon followed, caught by Jamie Seabrook off Ben Seabrook for 108.
New Zealander Tim Johnston added an unbeaten 27 to push the score up to 354, and Burwell & Exning were soon staring down the barrel in their reply.
Gallagher bowled opening batsman Tim Catley (1), and trapped skipper and danger-man Joseph Tetley (1) leg before to leave the home side on 11 for two.
There was no let-up, Gallagher also removing Ben Seabrook, caught by wicketkeeper Mansfield for just four, while overseas player Johnston ran out opener Edward Hyde (13) with a terrific piece of fielding.
Dustin Melton accounted for all-rounder Tyron Koen (6) to leave Burwell floundering on 41 for five.
“Jonny (Gallagher) and James Poulson are a great opening partnership for us, with the ball,” continued club captain Batch.
“Against Bury, it was James who got the wickets (four for 14), and this weekend it was Jonny who did the damage.
“They are both very competitive and they let the pressure build up on the batsmen.
“There was also a superb run-out by Tim Johnston. He dived full length to take the ball one-handed in the covers, and then throw down the stumps.
“They got some late runs, but we had taken the foot off the gas by then – it’s hard not to when the game is basically won.”
Gallagher finished with figures of 8-2-29-3, while Poulson was just as impressive with 9-2-32-2.