Suffolk keep qualification chances alive

June 3, 2024

DAN Shanks sees no reason why Suffolk can’t qualify for the knock-out stages of this season’s NCCA Trophy competition.

Suffolk defeated Shropshire by 40 runs at Shifnal CC on Sunday to register their first victory of the season in any competition.

After losing their opening group game to Staffordshire at Mildenhall CC, Suffolk bounced back with a good all-round team performance to keep alive their chances of reaching the quarter-finals.

After winning the toss, Suffolk made 264 for 6 built around a third-wicket stand of 87 in 18.2 overs between Darren Ironside, who scored 54, and 52 from the returning George Rhodes.

Alex Oxley (32 off 33 deliveries), Ben Parker (38 off 42), skipper Josh Cantrell (30 not out off 23) and Jacob Marston (18 not out off 19) all ensured Suffolk posted a competitive total.

Shropshire’s openers put on 61 for the first wicket before Shanks made the breakthrough by having George Hargrave caught for 36 in the 14th over.

Off spinner Tom Harper then removed former Worcestershire batter Tom Fell with his first delivery and followed it up in his next over by having captain Charlie Home stumped by Marston, the first of three stumpings by the wicket-keeper.

Jack Beaumont dismissed Peter Clark and Ben Lees to leave the hosts 123 for 6 in the 30th over, before Rhodes chipped in with two wickets, the first to a smart slip catch by Beaumont.

Shanks then book-ended the innings by dismissing Andre Bradford, whose 71 from 93 balls under-pinned Shropshire’s reply, and trapping Ben Roberts lbw three balls later.

Staffordshire’s five-wicket loss on Sunday at home to Norfolk, who are now top, means the group is wide open in terms of quarter-final qualification.

Shanks said afterwards: “I think at this stage last year we had won one and lost one after two games, and we went on to get to the semi-final, so there is a lot of cricket to be played.

“If we play another two good games of cricket in the group there is no reason why we can’t progress and go further.”

Suffolk’s next match is at home to Norfolk at Sudbury CC on Sunday, June 16th.

Jack Beaumont is pictured above almost claiming a caught and bowled off opener George Hargrave during Shropshire’s innings, the ball bouncing just short



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