Woolpit win last-ball thriller at Coggeshall

Woolpit wicketkeeper Karl Holmes, seen here catching the ball, scored 64 not out in his side's last-

Woolpit wicketkeeper Karl Holmes, seen here catching the ball, scored 64 not out in his side's last-ball win at Coggeshall. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT - Credit: Archant

The pace continues to be relentless at the top of Division One of the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship, with all three of the leading teams recording away wins on Saturday, although second-places Woolpit triumphed by the skin of their teeth.

Batsman Robert Jagger, who struck 74 in Coggeshall's one-run defeat to Woolpit on Saturday. Picture;

Batsman Robert Jagger, who struck 74 in Coggeshall's one-run defeat to Woolpit on Saturday. Picture; GREGG BROWN. - Credit: Gregg Brown

It was certainly a day for the visiting teams to shine – all five matches in Division One were won by the away team, as were five of the six fixtures in Division Two.

Woolpit remain in second position, behind leaders Worlington, after chalking up their eighth win from 12 starts, although their margin of victory could not have been much closer.

In fact, captain Will Parker described the match as “a crazy one.”

The Suffolk club won by just one run, in a match that went down to the very last ball.

Having lost the toss and been put into bat, Woolpit scored 220 for five off a reduced 40 overs (due to the World Cup).

Australian Corey Polyak hit two sixes and seven fours in a dominant knock of 78, off 85 balls, sharing a fifth-wicket partnership of 109 with wicketkeeper Karl Holmes, who was unbeaten on 64 from just 40 deliveries,

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Coggeshall, who began the day in fourth spot, looked on course for victory with opener Robert Jagger (74) and skipper George Hanham (41) building a good platform, but the hosts then began to lose wickets at regular intervals and were to ultimately fall agonisingly short of their target.

Woolpit skipper Parker takes up the story of a remarkable game.

“It was a crazy one! We have been involved in several close games this season, and managed to come out on top in all of them,” explained Parker.

“We started slowly in our innings, until Karl Holmes and Corey Polyak picked up the tempo. They ended up scoring a lot of runs in the last 10 overs.

“The pitch was a bit different. It was very dry, and we were quite happy as a team to get to 220.

“However, Coggeshall got off to a very good start and were looking very comfortable, especially against our pace-attack. In fact, they were really cruising up to 30 overs, with only two wickets down and scoring at six or seven runs per over.

“Then suddenly we started taking some wickets, and panic set into their ranks. It had looked all over at one time, but we pulled it back and they were left needing nine runs to win off the last over.

“That over was bowled by young Freddie Heldreich, who is only 17 and is a slow left-arm chinaman. He had only bowled a couple of overs earlier in the innings, but he had bowled much better on his return to the attack.

“Coggeshall only managed a single off the first four balls, but just when we thought we had won it, their batsman (Nick Van Hooutteghem) hit a six off the penultimate ball.

“That left them needing two off the last ball. It spun off the thigh pad and our wicketkeeper (Karl Holmes) retrieved it. There was never two runs there, and I was behind the stumps to take the ball.

“However, I accidently kicked off the bails while taking the ball, and so had to take the stump out of the ground. It was a crazy ending,” added Parker.

Meanwhile, Worlington nurse a 21-point lead at the top of the table, following a more conclusive win at Maldon by 72 runs.

Skipper James Watson won the toss and opted to bat first, and he led from the front by top-scoring with 62 as Worlington built a total of 229 for six off their 40 overs.

The main partnership of the innings was the 100 runs put on by Watson and Colin Thompson (46) for the third wicket, after opener Ziaf Kulasi had hit three sixes in a run-a-ball knock of 42.

Maldon were bowled out for 157 in just 28.1 overs in their reply, with Ashan Athurkoralage (8.1-2-38-3) and Matthew Wittish (5-0-32-3) among the wickets. Matt Anderson top-scored with 44.

Witham won a high-scoring game at Mistley, by three wickets. Sizwe Masondo top-scored with 90 in Mistley’s 289 for eight (off 50 overs), only for skipper Jake Wakelin to accumulate 92 at the top of the innings in Witham’s reply. Simon Jones (89) and Forster Mutizwa (42) kept up the momentum, Witham winning with one over to spare.

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