Caley's knock puts Suffolk on top

CRICKET: Skipper Phil Caley has given Suffolk a chance of snatching victory at Jesmond after the second day of their Minor Counties Championship match against Northumberland.


SKIPPER Phil Caley has given Suffolk a chance of snatching victory at Jesmond after the second day of their Minor Counties Championship match against Northumberland.

The hosts secured a narrow first-innings lead of 17 after reaching a total of 291, and they looked in a good position to surge to victory when Suffolk stumbled to 76 for six in their second innings.

Yet Caley masterminded a Suffolk fight-back, remaining unbeaten on 82 at the close as the visitors progressed to 207 for nine, a lead of 190 with one day left.

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He received valuable support from the youthful Paul King, who impressed with an innings of 40 while batting at No. 10.

Earlier, a maiden Championship century from all-rounder Steve Chapman had put Northumberland in a strong position, and this was backed up by five wickets for seamer David Rutherford – Suffolk lost six wickets for 40 runs after a steady start.

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Chapman's 103, plus knocks of 46 from fellow pro Bradley Parker and 43 from Durham Academy captain John Windows, enabled Northumberland to surpass Suffolk's first day effort of 274.

The home side took their overnight score of 68 for one onto 109 before Graeme Hallam was dismissed for 18. Parker and Chapman then ripped into the Suffolk bowling, smashing 81 in 13 overs with Parker timing the ball superbly.

The former Yorkshire batsman struck 11 fours before clipping medium pacer Kevin Shaw straight to Russell Catley at square leg, just four short of his half-century.

Chapman then hit a cramped back-foot drive to the same player at mid-on to leave Northumberland on 204 for four.

Only Windows managed to maintain the momentum but, after securing six of the eight available bonus points, Rutherford and Lee Crozier reduced Suffolk to 37 for two at tea. Russell Catley, who made 96 in the first innings, and Mark Jones were the two to be dismissed.

Rutherford then dismissed Tim Catley and Chris Warn for ducks, although former Derbyshire all-rounder Trevor Smith, a makeshift opener due to Andy Brown's torn quad muscle (on day one), surged to 49 before being caught by Barry Stewart at mid-off to give Rutherford his fourth wicket.

When Shaw was bowled by Crozier without scoring, the visitors were in danger of losing inside two days.

But first innings half-century maker Brown, operating with a runner, and skipper Caley, who was dropped early on by Parker, fought back with a fine partnership of 53 before Brown shouldered arms and was bowled by Martin Pollard.

Pollard claimed a second wicket before Caley and King put on 74 for the ninth wicket with King finally falling in the final over of the day for an excellent 40.

James East, who had been the pick of the Suffolk bowlers with four for 56 earlier in the day, was hoping to give support to Caley at the crease as the visitors attempted to build on their lead and then bowl Northumberland out.

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