Suffolk let Cambridgeshire off the hook

SUFFOLK let Cambridgeshire off the hook, but still ended the first day of their three-day Minor Counties Championship game at March in a good position.

By Elvin King

SUFFOLK let Cambridgeshire off the hook, but still ended the first day of their

three-day Minor Counties Championship game at March in a good position.

Needing a win to maintain a realistic chance of retaining their Eastern Division title, Suffolk looked on course when the home side were 108 for seven after 30 overs at lunch.

But a tenth wicket stand of 88 saw Cambridgeshire post a score on 246 - with Suffolk gaining a maximum four bowling points.

Andrew McGarry was the main

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danger, bowling well and deserving his six wickets, with Justin Bishop taking four good close-to-the-wicket catches.

Phil Caley won the toss for Suffolk and put Cambs into bat. The start was delayed for an hour because of wet conditions, and lunch was taken early when a shower arrived.

At 158 for nine Suffolk were hoping to wrap up the Cambs innings for less than 200, but the last pair put paid to that before Paul King had Adam Syddall caught at slip.

When Suffolk batted they were rocking slightly at 58 for four, but then Chris Schofield and Chris Warn steadied the ship before play ended 13 overs before the maximum 110.

By 7pm the sun had become a hazard at a ground that has a wicket that goes east to west. Not only were the batsmen having trouble, but the bowlers were also struggling to see when delivering.

Kesgrave-based Clacton batsman Martyn Cull made four on his Minor Counties debut as the Suffolk top order failed to find their touch.

Suffolk's director of cricket Kevin Brooks said: “Cambridgeshire scored more than we hoped they would at lunch, but before the start we would have settled for getting them out for 246.

“Andrew McGarry bowled a long stint and did well, and with 58 overs still to bat with the right application we can reach 325 and collect maximum batting points.”

SUFFOLK powered into the last 16 of the Kuoni 50+ County Championship with another impressive win over Bedfordshire at Ipswich School.

Once again the success was built around a solid batting display led by skipper Neil Hames.

After winning the toss, Hames had little hesitation in choosing to bat on a very hot afternoon. He proceeded to dominate the Beds attack, cracking 23 fours in an innings of 124. That took his tally for the season to 430 in seven innings, at an average of 61.4. His opening partner Chris Heron, who was out for ten against Beds, has scored 408 at an average of 68.

At Ipswich School it was Tim Parker (57) and Graham Denny (30 not out) who supplied the support in a 45-over total of 266 for seven.

Derek Cook had a hand in dismissing both openers with only 18 on the board, bowling one and running the other out.

From then on the visitors were never in the hunt, despite half-centuries from Jones and Stubbs, and they ended on 200 for six.

Suffolk finished second in their group behind unbeaten Northants, but almost certainly will have a home draw in the last 16 of the national knock-out stage. The draw takes place on Tuesday.