Former Essex batsman Jaik Mickleburgh takes charge as Copdock & Old Ipswichian win at Bury
PUBLISHED: 11:56 25 July 2017
Jaik Mickleburgh confirmed his billing as the top batsman in the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League, as he masterminded Copdock & Old Ipswichian’s four-wicket win at Suffolk rivals Bury St Edmunds on Saturday.
Basement dwellers Bury were skittled out for just 147 in 49.4 overs, undone by some excellent bowling from spinner Stephen Croft (16-4-42-5) and visiting captain Tom Rash (18-6-38-4).
Copdock did lose wickets at regular intervals, following an opening stand of 46 between Mickleburgh and Martyn Cull, but former Essex batsman Mickleburgh remained in control and was still at the crease on 74 not out when Copdock wrapped up victory at the end of 37 overs.
“We have to laud Jaik (Mickleburgh) once again. He is a top-quality batsman and certainly the best player in the league,” enthused Codpock captain Rash.
“He does this virtually every week, and he can do it in tricky conditions on a tricky pitch, as well as on a flat wicket like the one we have got at Copdock.
“Jaik gets runs on any surface, and the decent start that he gave us enabled us to get the runs quickly.
“The four-wicket margin makes it sound closer than it really was. We were concerned that the rain was coming, so we lost a couple of wickets in the quick hunt for runs,” added Rash.
Put into bat by Rash, who had won a rare toss, struggling Bury were ousted for 147 with only Daron Cruickshank, their overseas player, managing to reach 30.
Rash took the first three wickets to fall, dismissing youngsters Dominic Manthorpe (3), Alex Oxley (9) and Ben Curran (23). Cruickshank raced to 31 off 30 balls, part of a stand of 39 for the fourth wicket with Alfie Marston (13), which was actually Bury’s biggest partnership of the day.
West Indian all-rounder Cruickshank was eventually caught behind by Sam Webb-Snowling, while attempting an attacking shot off spinner Croft, to leave the score on 83 for five.
Luke Du Plooy made 29 at No. 8, and there was a last wicket partnership of 23 between James McKinney (12no) and Charlie Cook (10), but Bury’s total was well short of expectations.
“There was a bit of grass on the wicket, and I had some help from the cloudy conditions,” said Rash.
“I managed to get the first three wickets to fall, with my swing bowling, and when the wicket began to dry out and a few cracks appeared, I turned to the spinners.
“They (Croft and Jack Beaumont) put the ball in the right places, and we also got a bit of good luck with a couple of Bury batsmen getting out playing bad shots.
“Getting Daron Cruickshank was the key wicket. He had come in and played a few shots, to take the pressure off the batsmen, so I put myself back on to shore up one end and stop the flow of runs.
“Daron therefore tried to get at the other bowlers, and he had a big swing at Stephen (Croft), getting a edge to the wicketkeeper.
“Stephen certainly played his part in getting us the win. It was his five-wicket haul in the league, and he does have ambitions to play at a high level,” added Rash.
Yorkshire-based Croft is a student at Cambridge University and has been a regular in the Copdock side since his arrival at the start of the summer.
In their reply, Mickleburgh’s 74 not out eased Copdock to victory, despite some fine bowling from George Loyd, who claimed figures of 9-2-31-4.
Loyd trapped Cull leg before for 12, and also dismissed Beaumont for a duck, to restrict the visitors to 46 for two, but Webb-Snowling (22), Jed Cawkwell (10) and Andy Northcote (16) all kept the scoreboard ticking over, with Mickleburgh at the other end, which was important because skipper Rash was down to bat at No. 11 due to a fractured finger.