Skipper in imperious form to put Talbots on the brink

LEADING THE WAY: Sudbury captain Tom Huggins, who hit his second successive hundred at Horsford
LEADING THE WAY: Sudbury captain Tom Huggins, who hit his second successive hundred at Horsford

GIBBS DENLEY

EAST ANGLIAN

PREMIER LEAGUE

Sudbury (240) beat

Horsford (181) by 59 runs

A second successive hundred from captain Tom Huggins and a five-wicket haul from overseas star Dustin Melton put Sudbury on the cusp of their first EAPL title.

Sudbury were inserted on a green looking pitch when Horsford won the toss. But from the outset, Huggins was in imperious form.

The skipper’s 142-ball 115 was littered with scintillating strokes, which included nine fours and three huge sixes.

Huggins shared an opening stand of 150 with Adam Mansfield, the current Suffolk skipper smashing 74 from just 71 balls before he was bowled by Ryan Findlay.

Sudbury then suffered a mid-innings wobble when they lost Darren Batch (0), Ben Parker (2) and Ben Reece (1) all in the space of two overs.

Will Shropshire (13) and Alistair Younger (11 not out) supported Huggins well as the Sudbury talisman marched on towards his hundred.

Huggins finally fell with one-and-a-half overs to go in the innings when he was caught on the boundary going for another six.

Sudbury then lost their last four batsmen cheaply in the pursuit of late innings runs, but the final tally of 240 was a good effort given the conditions.

With rain around, Duckworth-Lewis-Stern calculations were made and it was key Sudbury took early wickets, which Jonny Gallagher and James Poulson provided.

Gallagher first trapped Luke Findlay LBW and then Poulson had John Ratledge brilliantly caught at short cover by Reece.

The introduction of Huggins and Melton brought about another couple of wickets before a rain delay for half an hour.

After the restart Chris Brown and John Crowe slowly brought Horsford back into the match when they shared an 87-run partnership to push the home side up to 136-6.

Reece had Crowe trapped lbw for a well made 64, before Melton tore through the lower order to finish with excellent figures of 5-23. The home side were bowled out for 181, 60 short of their target.

It left Sudbury entering the final weekend of the season with a 21-point lead over second-placed Swardeston, who visit Friars Street on Saturday (11am).