PCA England Legends lose in Suffolk

July 27, 2021

AROUND 500 spectators saw Bury St Edmunds beat the PCA England Legends by three wickets with one ball to spare.

The match, held at the Victory Ground on Friday, was the first major sporting event to take place in Suffolk since the easing of lockdown restrictions.

The T20 fixture, which had been delayed for a year due to Covid-19, saw the PCA England Legends score 161 for 4, with Usman Afzaal top-scoring with 64 off 45 balls, which included 12 fours and one six.

The PCA England Legends agreed to a return match as part of Greene King’s sponsorship of the England team to mark the centenary of the Victory Ground.

He shared a third-wicket partnership of 115 with Mark Ramprakash, who ended undefeated on 38 off 43 deliveries.

Max Dias, who caught and bowled Afzaal and also dismissed opener Ali Brown for a second-ball duck, was the pick of the bowlers with two for 18 off his four overs.

Bury’s Alfie Marston then struck 36 of the first 48 runs, with four boundaries and three sixes off only 18 balls received, being particularly severe on spinner Monty Panesar.

The loss of Marston was the first of three wickets to fall for the addition of only one run as opposing skipper Alex Tudor produced a sharp spell to dismiss both openers.

Sean Park (44 off 27 balls) and Josh Cantrell (17 off 20) then added 62 for the fourth wicket, before Matt Doran (27 off 15) and Ben Whittaker (16 not out off 15) guided Bury towards their target.

The PCA England Legends team also included the likes of Devon Malcolm, who also played for Suffolk later in his career, and Matthew Hoggard.

The afternoon kicked off with 230 guests sitting down to a three-course lunch, which also included an auction and a Q&A session with Ramprakash and Hoggard and hosted by Tudor.

Proceeds from the match will go towards a new state-of-the-art three-lane net facility at the ground, after an appeal was recently launched to raise the £60,000 required.

Bury St Edmunds CC will also be making a donation to the NHS and provided free tickets for employed at the West Suffolk Hospital to attend Friday’s match.

It is not yet known how much was raised but Bury St Edmunds CC Chairman Paul Whittaker said: “It was a tremendous day with a large crowd who thoroughly enjoyed an exciting game and the entertainment.

“We succeeded in raising money for both the West Suffolk Hospital Charity and our new outdoor practice facility.”

Club President David Barker added: “The PCA England Legends acquitted themselves well despite many of them not playing for almost two years.

“The guests really enjoyed being able to meet friends and colleagues for the first time in many months in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere.”

Photograph caption

PCA England Legends batsman Mark Ramprakash turns the ball away on the leg side during his innings watched by Bury St Edmunds wicket-keeper Alfie Marston.

Photograph: Nick Garnham

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