West Indian Tino Best blasts an unbeaten 90 as Mildenhall beat a strong Frinton side
- Credit: Archant
Tino Best plundered a superb 90 not out as Mildenhall clinched a four-wicket victory over Frinton in an enthralling Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League fixture at Wamil Way on Saturday.
Frinton, regarded as one of the title favourites, having finished as runners-up in 2015, amassed a challenging total of 256 for eight from their allotted 64 overs.
Put into bat by Mildenhall captain Ben Shepperson, after he had won the toss, Frinton’s innings was built around a blistering knock of 60 from the hard-hitting Kemar Smith.
Mildenhall’s opening pair of Kyle Morrison and Best again impressed with the ball, taking five wickets between them, and it was this all-round double act who were to play key roles in the hosts’ successful reply.
Morrison hit a top-notch 68 at the top of the order, but Mildenhall were on the ropes at 126 for five, still 131 short of victory, when Best came to the crease to join Matt Allen.
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Former West Indian international star Best then took control, blitzing 90 off 69 deliveries, including four sixes and 12 boundaries.
He took 40 balls to reach his half-century, while his century partnership with Allen was accrued off 109 deliveries.
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By the time that Allen was dismissed, caught by Michael Comber off Smith for a patient 30, off 72 balls, Mildenhall had already advanced to within 30 runs of Frinton’s total.
Jack Loveday (12no) provided the late back-up for Best as the home side celebrated their third win of the season, in the 47th over.
“Tino (Best) was superb. He’s played a lot of cricket, obviously, and he attacked when he needed to attack. The innings proved his maturity,” enthused Mildenhall captain Shepperson.
“That’s why you have your overseas player, to win you games, and that’s what Tino did for us. He won us the game.
“It was also good that he was helped by a couple of the younger guys. In fact, I thought it was a good day all-round for us.
“Matt Allen played really well to support Tino. He’s a very gritty character and will always do his best, while Jack Loveday played well at the end.
“I thought we were very good, from the start to the finish. We decided to take the pace off the ball, in their innings. We felt that was the best option, to keep them quiet. It was perhaps not the most threatening of bowling displays, but it was the right plan to put Frinton under pressure.
“I fancied our chances of getting their total (256), especially as the wicket tends to flatten when the sun comes out, which it did.
“Obviously it was looking difficult at 126 for five, but I still felt we were in it and I would have backed us to go on and win the game,” added Shepperson.
Frinton recovered from losing opener Ishmael Dar to the second ball of the day, caught by wicketkeeper Ryan Clark off Best.
Fellow opener Joe Fowler (32) and captain Kyran Young (41) put on 68 for the second wicket, bringing up the 50-mark in the 15th over.,
Pace-man Best returned to take his second wicket of the afternoon, when having Merv Westfield caught behind for 32 (off 39 balls) to leave the Essex visitors on 106 for three.
Fowler’s patient innings, which had spanned 118 balls, came to an end soon afterwards to leave Frinton on 117 for four, but Comber (29) and Smith then added 78 for the fifth wicket.
Smith hit six sixes and four fours in his 45-ball stay at the crease, to make up for what had been a slow run-rate (the 150 landmark was not reached until the 48th over).
Morrison ended with figures of three for 61, although it was Essex county player Tom Westley, making his first appearance for Mildenhall, who put the brakes on the innings with fine figures of 18-5-64-1. In reply, Mildenhall lost Peter Worthington to the first ball, trapped leg before by Comber, but Morrison (68 off 63 balls) and Westley (33) shared a second wicket partnership worth 102.
However, the hosts then lost five wickets for the addition of just 24 runs to leave the score on 126 for five. Frinton sensed victory was within their grasp, but Best and Matt Allen took the game away from them, Best’s aggression proving the difference as a home win was achieved off 46.3 overs.
Mildenhall are up to sixth in the EAPL table, having now added to their opening day victory over Vauxhall Mallards, and last month’s home win over local rivals Bury St Edmunds.
Frinton, who have also won three of their first seven fixtures, are one place and 15 points better off in fifth spot.
Mildenhall enjoy home advantage again this Saturday, when they entertain Horsford, while Frinton play host to league leaders Sudbury.