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Suffolk’s match against Cumberland ends in a draw after two breaks for rain

PUBLISHED: 20:12 01 August 2017

Jaik Mickleburgh, backing up at the non-striker's end, as Liam Gray bowls during the Minor Counties Championship between Suffolk and Cumberland. Mickleburgh scored 99 in Suffolk's second innings.

Jaik Mickleburgh, backing up at the non-striker's end, as Liam Gray bowls during the Minor Counties Championship between Suffolk and Cumberland. Mickleburgh scored 99 in Suffolk's second innings.

Suffolk’s Minor Counties Championship match against visiting Cumberland, at Ipswich School, petered out in a draw after a rain-affected third day.

Suffolk had nursed a narrow lead of just 15 runs, on first innings, and having resumed on an overnight score of 117 for three, they progressed to 288 all out in their second innings (the same total as their first innings effort).

In reply, chasing a target of 304 for victory, Cumberland had reached 163 for five off 41 overs, following two breaks for rain which saw an hour’s play lost. The wet weather really ruined the chance of a positive result, either way, and both captains agreed to end the match as a draw shortly after 6pm.

Jaik Mickleburgh, who had top scored with 96 in the first innings, again played the major knock. Resuming on 76 not out, the former Essex batsman was eventually dismissed just one short of his century.

Mickleburgh was one of Toby Bulcock’s five victims (he took 10 wickets in the match), caught by Chris Hodgson for 99, accrued off 153 balls and including 11 boundaries.

Darren Batch (23) did not last long in the morning session, but Mildenhall’s Ben Shepperson added a fine 43 at No. 6, hitting a six and seven fours in just 38 balls. He put on 62 for the fifth wicket with Miclkleburgh before both were removed in quick succession, just before the 200-mark was reached.

Copdock & Old Ipswichian captain Tom Rash (26 not out) and Jack Beaumont (24) both made useful contributions, and a stand of 44 for the last wicket between Rash and No. 11 James Poulson, who struck seven quickfire boundaries in a cameo 35 off just 18 balls, made sure that Cumberland were chasing a target in excess of 300.

The visitors were soon in trouble, losing Jordan Clarke (0) and Chris Brownlow (3) with just 12 runs on the board, to Rash and Poulson respectively.

Opener Ross Zelem (49) and Jonathan Miles (33) rescued the situation by putting on 73 for the third wicket, before spinner Beaumont removed both of them with just one run added to the total.

That left Cumberland on 86 for four, but skipper Gary Pratt added 66 not out off 67 balls to take the score along to 163 for five, although two rain breaks cost either side a chance of going for the victory.

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