Suffolk set for final game decider

August 22, 2019

All-rounder Tom Rash says he can’t wait for Suffolk’s final Unicorns Championship match of the season following their thrilling draw against Cumberland.

Suffolk, who host Northumberland at Bury St Edmunds a week on Sunday, sit in fifth place entering the final round of matches in this season’s competition.

A top-five finish will ensure Suffolk of a place in Eastern Division One of next season’s re-branded National Counties Cricket Championship.

The three-day fixture in Cumberland turned into a one-day match at nearby Netherfield CC in Kendal on Tuesday that was played under three-day rules. That was after it became clear by lunchtime on day two that no play was going to be possible at the original venue of Sedbergh School which was too wet.

Suffolk won the toss and asked Cumberland to bat first, with the home team restricted to facing a maximum of 64 overs in their innings. They declared on 232 for 9 from 61.3 overs thanks to 84 from Sam Dutton and 52 from Jacques Du Toit, with Mildenhall skipper Rash taking 5 for 50 – his third five-wicket haul for the county. Sudbury’s Paddy Sadler sent down six overs for 32 runs without taking a wicket on his debut.

That left Suffolk 45 overs to score 233 for victory and Jaik Mickleburgh (59) and Mildenhall’s Ben Shepperson (42) added 98 for the third wicket to put Suffolk on course. Jack Beaumont made 34 before he was run out in a mix-up with Rash and Suffolk still required 42 from what they thought would be the
final six overs with three wickets still standing.

Sudbury’s James Poulson was then caught on the long off boundary for 32 trying to hit a six off the first ball of what proved to be the 43rd and final over as Suffolk ended on 213 for 8.The umpires pulled stumps at the conclusion of that over as the clock had ticked round to 6.30pm, leaving Rash undefeated on 19 and
Suffolk and Cumberland with eight points apiece from the draw.

Rash said: “It was really frustrating to lose the first two days as we like coming up here and it is always an evenly-matched game against Cumberland. “To then come so close on this pitch to winning having fought really hard is very frustrating, but there is nothing we can do about it now.”

Of his bowling Rash said: “It was really pleasing to get another five- wicket haul, but I am gutted it has not resulted in a Suffolk win as it is more important that the team comes home with more points; personal milestones mean nothing unless they actually contribute to a win.”

Rash, who used to play for Bury St Edmunds, said of Suffolk’s final fixture which will decide their fate: “I can’t wait. You always want something on the games you play in and that’s the great thing about the two-division format next year.

“We always like playing at The Vic and the guys will be well up for it.”

Image: Mildenhall’s Tom Rash bowling for Suffolk against Cumberland at Netherfield CC, where he took five wickets

Words and Image: Nick Garnham

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