No pottering about by Laurie
CRICKET: SUFFOLK failed to capitalise on a good start on the rain affected first day of their Minor Counties Championship match against Staffordshire. The overcast conditions at the Victory Ground, Bury St Edmunds, offered some early assistance to the Suffolk bowlers, but by the close of play the visitors were in control on 315 for 4.
SUFFOLK failed to capitalise on a good start on the rain affected first day of their Minor Counties Championship match against Staffordshire.
The overcast conditions at the Victory Ground, Bury St Edmunds, offered some early assistance to the Suffolk bowlers, but by the close of play the visitors were in control on 315 for 4.
Clacton's Gary Kirk picked up two wickets in his opening spell and David Cross, playing just his third game for the county, removed the dangerous Graheme Archer in his first over, but that just brought an in-form Laurie Potter to the crease.
The former Kent and Leicestershire all-rounder piled on the runs alongside Paul Shaw as it became evident that the wicket was offering the bowlers very little help.
The pair came together on 59 for 3, and with some confident and aggressive strokes they moved the score on to 287.
The early morning rain which had delayed the start of the three-day game by three hours had not appeared to slow the outfield, as boundaries were easy to find for the Staffordshire batsmen.
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The 228 run partnership was finally broken when Kirk had Shaw caught five runs short of his century. It would have been his second consecutive hundred following a knock of 134 earlier in the week in his county's match against Hertfordshire.
However, Potter continued to score freely and after reaching his century he attacked forcefully to end the day unbeaten on 158.
His innings, which included 19 boundaries and two sixes, put Staffordshire into a commanding position, but Suffolk's Director of Cricket Kevin Brookes was pleased with his side's display.
"We started well and took advantage of the wicket with the new ball, but Potter and Shaw played extremely well.
"Whilst we got the ball past the bat on a number of occasions we haven't been able to make the vital breakthrough," he added.
Suffolk had tried to make the most of the early favourable conditions by electing to field first, but they will now face a stiff test when play resumes today.
Brookes said, "We weren't sure how the wicket would play so we chose to take advantage of it at the start of the game but at the moment it hasn't worked out for us.
"Let's hope the wicket stays the way it is at the moment so we can get somewhere near their total when we get the chance to bat."