Sudbury skipper points to top order failing to deliver

EARLY EXIT: Rory Darkins walks to the pavilion after being clean-bowled by Woolpit's Will Parker for just three runs as Sudbury wickets tumbled during Saturday's defeat at Friars Street
EARLY EXIT: Rory Darkins walks to the pavilion after being clean-bowled by Woolpit's Will Parker for just three runs as Sudbury wickets tumbled during Saturday's defeat at Friars Street
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GIBBS DENLEY

EAST ANGLIAN

PREMIER LEAGUE

Sudbury 201 lost to

Woolpit 204-5

by five wickets

Sudbury captain Darren Batch laid the blame for their home defeat against formerly winless Woolpit firmly at the door of his opening batsmen.

None of the first four were able to hit double figures as Sudbury failed to take advantage of a solid pitch.

“The first hour costs us really,” said the Sudbury skipper, who ended his innings on a single run.

“It was probably a 250 pitch, but to be 23-4 after the first 10 overs you put yourself in such a bad position it is difficult to recover.

“I have to give credit to the middle-order, especially Adam Mansfield and James Poulson as both played really well.

“Jandre (Coetzee) and Nathan Poole supported Adam well, but 201 was always going to be a difficult score to defend.”

The Talbots’ hopes of repeating their emphatic opening day victory over the league newboys was soon in trouble on Saturday.

After winning the toss, the home side decided to bat first under sunny skies, but this decision seemed to have backfired when Batch was back in the pavilion with the score on one.

Further alarm was caused when both Ben Reece and Jay Phillips fell to leave the home side 14-3.

Things got worse shortly after as Rory Darkins was bowled to leave Sudbury reeling at 23-4.

Mansfield and Poulson — who helped Suffolk’s three-day side defeat Staffordshire in the Minor Counties Championship this week, with Mansfield taking five catches and a stumping on his county wicketkeeping debut— began the rebuilding process.

They reached 99 before Poulson edged behind.

Mansfield, Sudbury’s stand-out player of the season so far, found some support from Jandre Coetzee (13) and Nathan Poole (31) to push the score past the 200-mark before Mansfield (72) was the last to wicket to fall.

As Woolpit began their reply Jonny Gallagher struck first, strangling Dudley Spiers down the leg side.

Craig Rutterford was clean bowled by Coetzee and when Michael Jones fell with the score on 48 the home side had a chance.

But Craig Estlea was in fine form and he put the Sudbury bowlers to the sword.

He struck 104 in 103 balls, including four maximums and led Woolpit to the brink of victory before he was caught in the deep by Gallagher.

A couple of late wickets boosted Sudbury’s points total but it never looked like being enough to win the game with second-bottom Woolpit closing the gap with fourth-bottom Sudbury to just 14 points.

n Poulson took 2-33 with the bowl and hit 13 runs in Suffolk Under-19s’ three-wicket win over Essex last Thursday, while Mansfield hit 44.