Suffolk through to last four of NCCA Trophy

July 3, 2023

SUFFOLK will face Cumbria in the semi-finals of this season’s NCCA Trophy after defeating Northumberland by 87 runs at Sudbury CC on Sunday.

The home tie will take at a venue to be decided on Sunday, July 16th as Suffolk seek to reach the final of the 50-over competition for only the second time.

Suffolk booked their place in the last four thanks to another strong all-round team performance in their quarter-final match at Friars Street.

After losing the toss and being inserted, Suffolk posted 219 for 8, opener Darren Batch (pictured above with Northumberland wicket-keeper Stuart Poynter) top-scoring with 57 off 113 balls.

Ben Claydon (19), George Rhodes (22) and Josh Cantrell (21) all made useful contributions, after the home team rode their luck early in their innings.

Northumberland spilled a couple of catches, missed a run out opportunity and the ball dropped out of the reach of fielders on several occasions as the visiting bowlers impressed.

They offered very little width and runs were hard to come by until the later stages as skipper Adam Mansfield and wicket-keeper Jacob Marston made 30 apiece as 66 runs came off the final ten overs.

Marston struck two sixes off consecutive deliveries in the 49th over, the second over mid-wicket going out of the ground to take Suffolk past the 200 mark and towards a competitive total.

There was then a dramatic start to Northumberland’s reply, Josh Cantrell claiming a wicket off the last ball of the opening over.

This was followed by two wickets in his first two overs from Alex Cruickshank, whose first over also included five wides.

However, he produced two excellent deliveries to remove John Oswell and Nikhil Gorantla for ducks to put Suffolk in the ascendency.

Stuart Poynter, who has played international cricket for Ireland across all three formats, rallied Northumberland with 29 off 23 balls before he fell lbw to Jack Beaumont off the first ball of the 12th over.

That left Northumberland 54 for 4 and Suffolk’s bowlers starved the visiting batters of runs, Dan Shanks conceding just 10 runs in five overs.

Beaumont picked up two more wickets to finish with figures of 7.3-2-13-3, while Cantrell and Rhodes claimed two wickets each as well as Cruickshank .

The bowlers were backed up by some superb catching, Ben Claydon taking a screamer at mid-wicket, Rhodes a splendidly judged boundary catch at long on and Alex Oxley a diving effort at mid-wicket.

Alex Cruickshank said of taking those two early wickets: “It was an odd spell from me with a few wides in there as well, a bit hot and cold, but I just tried to run in fast and get some wickets early doors as on a pitch like that it was really key.”


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