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Kings of Anglia Issue 10 Magazine Offer

Suffolk bid denied by dogged Cambs

PUBLISHED: 14:08 18 July 2001 | UPDATED: 10:21 03 March 2010

CRICKET: SUFFOLK, at one point on the brink of victory, were finally defeated by two wickets as Cambridgeshire emerged on top in a nail-biting final day of the Minor Counties Championship match at Mildenhall.

CRICKET: SUFFOLK, at one point on the brink of victory, were finally defeated by two wickets as Cambridgeshire emerged on top in a nail-biting final day of the Minor Counties Championship match at Mildenhall.

Set a target of 175 in the second innings, Cambridgeshire were staring defeat in the face as Gary Kirk, Ian Graham and Richard Pineo ripped through their front-line batsmen.

The visitors were wobbling at 68 for five, and they were tottering on the edge when Pineo struck with two wickets in four balls to leave Cambridgeshire marooned on 132 for eight.

Suffolk were in the driving seat, with their opponents still requiring 43 for victory – their previous highest partnership in the innings was just 40.

But, try as they might, Phil Caley's men could not eke out the final two batsmen in a frustrating final 40 minutes. Simon Shipp was Cambridgeshire's hero with an unbeaten 27, backed up by wicket-keeper and No. 10 Cristian Durant (17 not out).

In the final analysis, Suffolk were left to rue not accumulating enough runs in their second innings, having established a lead of 40 after the first. There was little support for Caley, who had notched his second half-century of the match, even though Chris Swallow did compile 38 before being last man out this morning.

All-rounder Richard Pineo, who at least had the consolation of scoring his first half-century for the county (70 in the first innings), was in a reflective mood.

"We didn't get enough runs in our second innings. Fifty more and it would have been a different match," admitted Pineo.

"We were in the driving seat when they lost their eighth wicket, but we never felt like we had it in the bag. In the end, they batted very well to take the game away from us.

"It was my first game for a month, because of injury, so I was happy to score some runs, but it was a shame not to go on and win the match," added Pineo.

Kirk, who snapped up five wickets in the first innings, added three more at the top of the order, including that of former Essex hard-hitter Robert Rollins for 20. Graham also bowled both Rob Pryor and Ben Potter, leaving the visitors in real trouble.

Skipper Ajaz Akhtar top-edged Paul King to Andy Brown at deep backward square leg, but it was the return of Pineo for another spell in mid-afternoon that appeared to turn the tide in Suffolk's favour.

Veteran Kirk stooped to cling onto a loose drive by Amer Khan at mid-off, a smart catch for a 40-year-old who had already bowled 40 overs in the match.

That was Pineo's second ball of his new spell, and two balls later he induced an outside edge from Ian Blanchett for wicket-keeper Chris Warn to take the catch.

But that was the extent of Suffolk's success. The match gradually slipped away as Shipp and Durant, occasionally riding their luck, secured Cambridgeshire's second Championship win of the season.

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