Suffolk have to settle for a draw at Sleaford

July 26, 2023

SUFFOLK had to settle for a draw in their Durant NCCA Championship match versus Lincolnshire at Sleaford.

After making much of the running across the three days, the visitors were unable to force victory on a docile wicket on Tuesday afternoon.

Lincolnshire, who started their second innings 155 runs adrift, had reached 216 for 1 from 59.3 overs when rain forced the players from the field ten minutes before the start of the last hour’s play and they shook hands on a draw.

Opener Qundeel Haider made 67 off 174 deliveries and Ben Wright 123 from 132 balls with 13 fours and six sixes in what was a record second-wicket stand for Lincolnshire against Suffolk.

After dismissing Lincolnshire for 194 in 69 overs in their first innings, Suffolk fancied their chances of claiming victory in a match which was interrupted by the weather on all three days.

After winning the toss and inserting Lincolnshire, skipper Jack Beaumont led the way with figures of 24-5-59-4 and received good support from Matt Wareing (3 for 43) on his return to the side.

Josh Cantrell wrapped up the innings with the last two wickets to fall – the first his 50th in the Championship.

Suffolk were soon in trouble in their reply, former first-class bowler Mark Footitt reducing the visitors to 21 for 3 inside nine overs, the unlucky Alex Oxley being dismissed off the seventh ball of the third over after the umpires miscounted.

George Rhodes and Ben Parker (65) then added 130 for the fourth wicket as Suffolk closed day two just 20 runs behind with six wickets still standing and 32 overs remaining.

Rhodes, 80 not out overnight, went on to post a splendid 172 – his third century in successive Championship matches – from 233 deliveries with 20 fours and three sixes despite a knee injury.

He put on 124 for the sixth wicket in only 16 overs with Cantrell, who scored a sparkling 52 off just 47 balls. Cantrell (left) and Rhodes (right) are pictured leaving the field during a break for rain on Tuesday.

At one point Lincolnshire had seven fielders stationed on the boundary as they tried to stem the flood of runs.

All-rounder Tom Harper, who was making his Championship debut, was one of seven bowlers used to try and obtain a breakthrough as Suffolk took 12 points from the fixture and Lincolnshire eight.

Harper said afterwards: “It was always going to be tough to get a result after the amount of rain we had, but the boys fought really hard and I thought we put ourselves in a good position to give ourselves the best chance to win going into that last innings.

“However, we weren’t getting much out of the pitch and the batters played well and it was a little bit frustrating in the end.”

The result leaves Suffolk, whose next three-day fixture is against Norfolk at Horsford starting on August 13th, still searching for their first Championship victory of the season.

Suffolk now face current county champions Surrey in their NCCA Showcase match at Woolpit CC on Sunday, start 11am.


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