Suffolk waiting on fitness of key players

August 10, 2023

SUFFOLK are waiting on the fitness of two key players for their crucial NCCA Eastern Division One match versus Norfolk.

All-rounders George Rhodes and Ben Claydon are still injury concerns for the three-day fixture at Horsford CC, starting on Sunday (11am).

Rhodes (knee) and Claydon (ankle) were not risked in the NCCA Showcase match versus Surrey at Woolpit CC in a bid to be fit for the game at Manor Park.

With Josh Rymell, who featured in the drawn three-day fixture versus Lincolnshire last time out, playing for Essex in the Metro Bank One Day Cup, Suffolk have called up teenager Ollie Burle.

The Copdock & Old Ipswichian CC opener has consistently scored runs for the Suffolk Young Cricketers and made 86 for Suffolk 2nd XI in the first innings of last month’s victory over Buckinghamshire.

With Alex Cruickshank again unavailable, Suffolk do hand a debut to former Cambridgeshire bowler Raj Singh, who now plays for Copdock & Old Ipswichian in the East Anglian Premier League.

Norfolk sit bottom of the five-team table following their 10-wicket loss to Staffordshire on Tuesday in the opening match of their festival in which they were bowled out for 142 and 138.

Suffolk are nine points better off in third place, having lost to Staffordshire and drawn at Lincolnshire, and know they can ill-afford to lose to their old rivals if they are to retain their top-flight status.

Andy Northcote, the Suffolk head coach, said: “We need to play well over the next two games and hopefully that can keep us firmly in the league.

“Our only concern is the wicket, it has been below-par this year and therefore the team that wins will need some luck.

“All we can do is worry about ourselves and carry on, or start, doing the basics consistently well. The boys are in high spirits and ready for the challenge ahead.”

Suffolk’s spinners could have a vital role to play on a wicket that is usually slow and low.

The match at Manor Park two years ago was abandoned after Norfolk’s Ben Compton, then with first-class county Nottinghamshire and now with Kent, tested positive for Covid before the start of play on day two.

Suffolk were in a strong position, after reducing Norfolk to 132 for 6 in their reply to the visitors’ 269 all out, with Bury St Edmunds’ off spinner Josh Cantrell having already taken 4 for 21.

Suffolk squad: Jack Beaumont (capt), Alex Oxley, Ben Claydon, George Rhodes, Ben Parker, Josh Cantrell, Jacob Marston (wkt), Tom Harper, Dan Shanks, Matt Wareing, Raj Singh, Ollie Burle.

Josh Cantrell is pictured above bowling in the drawn three-day fixture versus Lincolnshire at Sleaford.


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