MARSHALL HATCHICK TWO COUNTIES CHAMPIONSHIP DIVISION ONE: Sudbury 183-3 beat Maldon 181 by seven wickets
Sudbury went to the top of Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship Division One by maintaining their 100 per cent record.
Having won the toss in bright sunny conditions, previously-unbeaten visitors Maldon opted to take advantage of a flat-looking wicket by batting first and soon had Sudbury’s new-ball partnership of Billy Moulton-Day and James Poulson under pressure as New Zealander Jamie Glenn went on the offensive.
With Sudbury struggling to cope with the dangerous-looking Glenn, it took a moment of brilliance from Moulton-Day to break up Maldon’s opening partnership.
Following a mix-up between Glenn and fellow opening bat Chris Harris, only a direct hit at the non-striker’s end would do and Moulton-Day duly obliged to put an end to a 75-run first-wicket partnership.
With a new batsmen at the crease, Sudbury looked to build pressure and, despite a half-century from Harris, the imminent departure of Maldon skipper Martyn Coker — off the bowling of Darren Batch — signalled a flurry of wickets.
The remaining eight wickets owed much to the fine bowling of Sudbury’s spin partnership, Ben Reece and Mike Jones, who together shared four wickets apiece to restrict Maldon to a first innings score of 181 all out.
Sudbury got off to a solid reply with captain Jonathan Phillips and fellow opener Nathan Poole posting a 50-run opening partnership before Poole was trapped in front of the stumps playing back to left-arm spinner Toby Pugh’s first delivery of the day.
The dismissal of Poole brought Darren Batch to the crease and, in tandem with Phillips, the two batsmen went on to bat positively in putting together a century stand for the second wicket, which effectively put the game beyond Maldon’s grasp.
The partnership was eventually broken in the 30th over when Phillips was caught behind off-spinner Harris for a well-crafted 78.
Batch very quickly followed in slightly disappointing fashion when he offered a catch to a high leg side full toss for 55.
But neither dismissal had much impact on the game as Matt Pears and Mike Jones calmly knocked off the remaining 30 runs without alarm to ensure a well-fought seven-wicket win.