Talbots climb back to the top after win at title rivals

MARSHALL HATCHICK

TWO COUNTIES

CHAMPIONSHIP

DIVISION ONE

Witham 131 lost to

Sudbury 241-7 by 110 runs

Sudbury climbed back to the top of the Division One table with a 110 run victory away at previous leaders Witham on Saturday.

After being knocked off top spot following their defeat to Wivenhoe the previous weekend, Sudbury travelled to Essex hoping to regain their grip on the Division One title.

Talbots’ captain Darren Batch won the toss and decided to bat first, with the visitors making a good start as opener Tom Huggins found the boundary regularly in the early exchanges.

Fellow opener Nathan Poole was more subdued as he struggled to find any rhythm against Witham’s modest opening attack.

Sudbury had reached 70 without loss before Poole (14) lifted a long hop from home captain Jake Wakelin into the hands of deep square leg.

In a bid to capitalise on their good start, the Talbots promoted Trinidad and Tobago all-rounder Akeal Hosein to number three on his return to the side.

However this move immediately backfired as the player-coach was clean bowled for a golden duck by Wakelin.

Adam Mansfield (nine) joined Huggins but could only provide brief resistance before being trapped for lbw by Wakelin, with Batch coming in next and helped rebuild the Sudbury innings which had stuttered after a positive start.

With the score moving onto 123, Witham turned to young leg spinner Michael Godwin, who after a couple of loose balls deceived Huggins to dismiss him for 82.

Sudbury lost two more quick wickets before James Poulson arrived with his side under real pressure, but along with Batch kept the scoreboard ticking over.

Batch was caught behind for 52, with Poulson then being partnered by Kenny Moulton-Day, with the pair adding 45 runs in less than four overs.

Sudbury demonstrated their strength in depth as Poulson used a mix of clever reverse sweeps to negotiate his way to 50 from 43 balls, with Moulton-Day reaching 19 as they closed on 241-7.

Billy Moulton-Day had Witham opener Kaan Hawes caught behind for a duck as the hosts made the worst possible start to the run chase.

New Zealand’s Sam Cooper was in at number three and with Wakelin settled the innings, before a rush of blood saw the latter hit a Batch (1-11) delivery straight into the air.

Jonny Gallagher (2-37) then produced an inspired spell of bowling to rip out the Witham middle order, with Hosein (1-13) reducing them to 60-5.

Billy Moulton-Day (3-38) returned to the attack and found more success with the ball, before Huggins (3-12) took the last three wickets as Witham were bowled all out for 131 to see Sudbury move back to the top of the table.