Huggins, Schofield inspire Suffolk win

SUFFOLK defeated Staffordshire by 16 runs in their opening Minor Counties KO Cup group match of the season at Ipswich School yesterday.A third-wicket stand of 165 in 118 minutes between opener Tom Huggins, who made 79, and Chris Schofield, who went on to score 124, was the cornerstone of Suffolk's innings as they set Staffordshire 268 to win in their allotted 50 overs.

SUFFOLK defeated Staffordshire by 16 runs in their opening Minor Counties KO Cup group match of the season at Ipswich School yesterday.

A third-wicket stand of 165 in 118 minutes between opener Tom Huggins, who made 79, and Chris Schofield, who went on to score 124, was the cornerstone of Suffolk's innings as they set Staffordshire 268 to win in their allotted 50 overs.

Huggins struck 10 fours in his 116-ball stay while Schofield, who broke a first-floor window with a straight six at the Ivry Street end of the ground, cleared the ropes three times in total added to 12 other boundaries in his 124-ball knock.

They came together with the total on 42 in the 13th over and were not separated until the 43rd over.

The match was evenly poised with Staffordshire 160 for four with 15 overs remaining and Suffolk a frontline bowler short after Justin Bishop was forced out of the attack after only one over with a hamstring injury that could keep him on the sidelines for between four and six weeks.

It was then that former Northants batsman Huggins, who is only a part-time off-break bowler, trapped Sam Seadon leg before straight after he had completed his 66-ball half-century.

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With Chris Swallow removing David Womble in similar fashion, Staffordshire required 83 off the final 10 overs, but catches in the deep by Huggins, Ben France and substitute fielder Nick Lee saw the visitors lurch to 199 for nine and the match looked to be over as a contest.

Paul Goodwin and Craig Barker set about reducing the target to 48 off the final four overs and when Andrew McGarry returned to the attack and went for 13 and France's next over did likewise, including six byes - four of which came off a 'free hit' after he delivered a no ball - 22 were required from the final two overs.

Toby Hembry then spilled a chance running backwards behind square leg before Goodwin miscued to France at mid-wicket to the relief of Suffolk's fielders and supporters.

Huggins, whose all-round performance played a crucial role in Suffolk's success, said afterwards: “It was hard work batting out there. They bowled really well early on, and then I got a bit lucky with the ball when I bowled.

“They needed to get after me if they were to stand a chance of winning, but fortunately we held our catches,” added the 24-year-old, who still harbours hopes of a return to the first-class game.

Ivry Street scoreboard

Suffolk won by 16 runs.

Suffolk

T Huggins c Harvey b Womble 79

B France c Jones b Sheikh 14

A Mawson c Goodwin b Womble 11

C Schofield b Barker 124

T Hembry c Goodwin b James 8

C Warn lbw b James 0

J Bishop c Cairns b Sheikh 8

P Caley not out 0

C Swallow not out 1

Extras 22

Total (for 7 wkts, 50 overs) 267

Did not bat: P King, A McGarry.

Fall: 1-21, 2-42, 3-207, 2-231, 5-232, 6-251, 7-266.

Bowling: Sheikh 10-1-44-2; Barker 10-1-44-1; Womble 10-1-37-2; Seadon 5-0-38-0; James 10-0-55-2; Jones 5-0-46-0.

Staffordshire

R King c & b King 26

N James c Caley b France 30

C Howell c Caley b France 9

R Harvey st Warn b Schofield 33

S Seadon lbw b Huggins 51

M Sheikh c Huggins b Swallow 14

D Womble lbw b Swallow 12

E Jones c France b Huggins 6

G Cairns c sub (Lee) b Huggins 6

P Goodwin c France b McGarry 16

C Barker not out 28

Extras 21

Total (48.4 overs) 251

Fall: 1-36, 2-63, 3-74, 4-142, 5-164, 6-185, 7-192, 8-199, 10-251.

Bowling: McGarry 9.4-1-40-1; Bishop 1-0-10-0; King 4-1-39-1; France 9-1-36-2; Schofield 10-0-50-1; Swallow 10-0-29-2; Huggins 5-0-36-3.

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