Title hopes dented for the Talbots after away defeat

TOUGH DEFEAT: Sudbury club captain Darren Batch scored an unbeaten 72 but the Talbots were beaten by seven wickets as their opponents Great Witchingham moved level on points with them at the top of the table
TOUGH DEFEAT: Sudbury club captain Darren Batch scored an unbeaten 72 but the Talbots were beaten by seven wickets as their opponents Great Witchingham moved level on points with them at the top of the table

GIBBS DENLEY

EAST ANGLIAN

PREMIER LEAGUE

Great Witchingham (161-3) beat Sudbury (158-3)

by seven wickets

Darren Batch says Sudbury should not be too hard on themselves after losing by seven wickets at title rivals Great Witchingham.

The Talbots saw their lead at the top of the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League cut to zero points on Saturday after losing a rain-affected match in Norfolk.

Club captain Batch’s unbeaten knock of 72 had helped visitors Sudbury reach a score of 158-3 in their innings, but a three-hour rain delay meant they were unable to add any more runs to their tally.

And despite a couple of early breakthroughs from the Sudbury bowling attack which restricted Great Witchingham to 9-2, the home side got over the line with seven wickets to spare to move joint-top of the table with the Talbots.

“We had set up our innings to have a big assault at the end,” Batch said.

“We wanted to strike hard with 12 overs left and look to get 80 to 90 runs, which would have put us around the 240 mark, but unfortunately the rain came at the wrong time for us.

“We had a three-hour break and when we went back on at five o’clock they had 36 overs to bat with.”

Home skipper Sam Arthurton had earlier won the toss and elected to field first, as Sudbury captain Tom Huggins and teenager Keelan Waldock opened the batting for the visitors at Walcis Park.

Huggins hit four boundaries on his way to a 55-ball knock of 32, before he was caught out by Arthurton, off the bowling of James Spelman.

Waldock and Batch then combined for a second-wicket partnership of 91 runs, falling just nine runs short of the century when the former was caught for 30.

South African Dustin Melton fell cheaply for a solitary run after being run out by James Hale, before Ben Parker (13 not out) and Batch took the score to 158-3 when the rain caused a halt in proceedings.

A lengthy break in play meant that by the time the players returned to the field there was only time for Great Witchingham to bat, with a target of 159 from 36 overs.

Sudbury got off to a fine start as they claimed two wickets in the first few overs.

Spelman was bowled out by Billy Moulton-Day (1-37) for two, before Hale (1) departed when he was caught by Ben Reece, off the bowling of Huggins (1-48).

A 123-run stand in the third wicket between Arthurton and William Rogers took the hosts to 132-3, before Rogers was caught by Adam Mansfield for 64, from a Melton delivery (1-56).

However, Luke Schlemmer (8 no) and Arthurton (80 no) remained unbeaten as Great Witchingham reached the target with seven wickets to spare and joined Sudbury at the top, with both sides on 313 points each.