Catley inspires big total for Suffolk
CRICKET: Russell Catley provided the backbone to Suffolk's meaty total of 274 on day one of their Minor Counties Championship opener against hosts Northumberland.
RUSSELL Catley provided the backbone to Suffolk's meaty total of 274 on day one of their Minor Counties Championship opener against hosts Northumberland.
Catley fell just four short of his century, run out following a mix-up with skipper Phil Caley, as Suffolk enjoyed the better of the exchanges at Jesmond.
Player-coach Andy Brown experienced a day of mixed fortunes. Opening with Catley, the talented Brown had reached 59 when he was forced to retire hurt with a torn quad muscle.
The Suffolk total at the time was 84 for no wicket. Catley continued to thwart Northumberland's bowlers and wicketkeeper Chris Warn weighed in with a swift 39 to leave Suffolk in a good position.
However, they fell just one adrift of earning a third batting point (275 equates to three batting points) from their allotted 90 overs.
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At the close, Northumberland were 68 for one in reply. Bury St Edmunds all-rounder Mark Geeves capped his Championship debut with the all-important breakthrough wicket, as well as making 12 not out towards the end of Suffolk's innings.
Yet Catley was the star of the day. He reached his half-century off 151 deliveries, and in all plundered 11 fours in his 245-ball stay at the crease. Brown, meanwhile, scored the quicker of the two, passing 50 off 75 balls in 88 minutes. He struck nine boundaries before his innings was brought to a painful and premature end. Kevin Brooks, Suffolk's director of cricket, said: "It was a shame about Andy. He was playing well, but the injury got progressively worse.
"He went to hospital for treatment and will take no further part in this match, or the next one against Cumberland. But we hope that he will be back for our vital ECB 38-County Trophy match against Bedfordshire.
"We won the toss and had a good start. Russell (Catley) was very unfortunate to be run out, just short of his century. He gave us the sort of start that we wanted from our openers.
"Chris Warn picked up the tempo at just the right time in the innings, but it was very frustrating not to get the third batting point," added Brooks. Catley and Warn shared a stand of 93 for the third wicket, but Suffolk rather lost their way during the latter part of their innings.
Northumberland's spinning duo of Crozier (five for 93) and Chapman (two for 109) bowled in harness from 1.15pm until the end of Suffolk's innings.