Talbots maintain lead at the top

WELCOME RETURN: Billy Moulton-Day
WELCOME RETURN: Billy Moulton-Day

GIBBS DENLEY

EAST ANGLIAN

PREMIER LEAGUE

Norwich (165) lost to

Sudbury (169-5)

by 5 wickets

Dustin Melton and Darren Batch both took three wickets each as Sudbury maintained their seven-point lead at the league summit with a five-wicket win at Postwick.

Upon winning the toss, captain Tom Huggins asked Norwich to bat first.

Suffolk captain Adam Mansfield began a two-game suspension but Billy Moulton-Day’s return to the side saw the perfect start for Sudbury as he firstly uprooted Aaron Watson’s middle stump and then removed overseas star batsman Will O’Donnell lbw first ball.

And when Melton had Lewis Sexton caught at point to make it 15-3, Sudbury had hopes of dismissing the hosts for a very low total.

A solid fourth-wicket partnership of 68 between Chris Borrett and home skipper Ashley Watson put Norwich back in the driving seat, but the introduction of part-time seamer Batch saw the innings take another turn. Batch firstly hurried a short ball onto Borrett that he could only glove behind and then three balls later he nicked Patrick Sheridan behind to make the score 83-5.

Huggins then took centre stage with the ball, causing all the batsmen trouble as he bowled his maximum 18 overs for figures of 1-29.

James Poulson (1-48) and Melton (3-36) both nipped in with wickets before Batch returned to finish the innings off by removing Dominic Mirner for 15.

Norwich had scraped to 165 all out off 63.2 overs.

In the opening of their reply, Huggins was partnered by fellow opener Keelan Waldock and the pair got the Talbots off to the perfect start.

Waldock played cautiously at first but when the bowlers stayed onto his pads they were dealt with accordingly.

Huggins struggled for rhythm early in his innings but he fought hard and at the tea break the pair had reached 83 without loss.

After the break, Huggins found more fluency against the spin bowlers and passed his half century just before Waldock was bowled by O’Donnell.

Huggins dragged onto his stumps from Aaron Watson for 59 and Ben Parker followed soon after when he cut a long hop into the grateful hands of point for just four.

Batch survived an early appeal for caught behind and made his way to 26 before he clipped an easy catch to mid-wicket.

With just 25 runs needed, Ben Reece and Will Shropshire chipped away at the required runs, and with just five needed Reece tried to finish the contest with one blow, but his attempted loft down the ground ended up in the hands of mid-on.

The winning runs eventually came courtesy of a huge Dan Poole slog sweep which cleared the boundary rope with ease.

The 25 points Sudbury gained matched the haul gained by second-placed Swardeston, so the lead at the top remains seven points.

Sudbury host Cambridge Granta on Saturday (11am) to end their Cricket Week with hopes of stretching their lead at the summit.