Skipper vows to come back stronger

September 8, 2021

SUFFOLK skipper Jack Beaumont vowed that his side will come back stronger next season after losing their National Counties Cricket Association Championship Play-Off Final against Oxfordshire by 178 runs.

Starting the fourth and final day at Tring Park CC in Hertfordshire on a precarious 13 for 3 chasing 347 for victory, Suffolk fought to the bitter end in their bid to win the title outright for the first time in 42 years.

They took the match well into the afternoon session before eventually being dismissed for 168 off 86.4 overs.

That was in no small measure due to the efforts of 20-year-old Jacob Marston, who top-scored with 61 in only his second Championship match and first for two years.

The Copdock & Old Ipswichian wicket-keeper/batsman faced 218 balls as he displayed great concentration and technique to withstand all that the Oxfordshire bowlers threw at him.

After Kyran Young was bowled for 26 by Oliver Clarke, who finished with figures of 5 for 59, much depended on Suffolk professional Joe Gatting if Suffolk were to be successful.

But he was unable to deliver a fairytale ending in his final match for Suffolk – he is returning to Australia and not coming back to England next summer – as he was stumped for 13.

The dismissal of Ben Shepperson for 32 quickly followed by that of Josh Cantrell signalled the end of any chance Suffolk had of chasing down their target.

Batting out the remaining overs to earn a draw became the order of the day, but Suffolk lost their last three wickets for the addition of just three runs in the space of 25 balls.

Suffolk skipper Jack Beaumont, who received a silver salver after being declared Most Valuable Player in the match, said: “The lads gave it their all over the four days, but just came up short.

“Credit to Oxfordshire, who played some good cricket over the course of the match. I don’t think you can deny how much we wanted it, but sometimes things don’t fall your way.

“We have got a great set of lads and if we can keep the group together then hopefully we will come back even stronger next year.”


Photograph caption: Jacob Marston batting for Suffolk as Oxfordshire fielders crowd around the bat during his innings of 61 on the final day of the NCCA Play-Off Championship Final at Tring CC. Photograph: Nick Garnham

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