Draw salvaged after early onslaught

BATTLER: Johnny Gallagher failed to take a wicket, but his dogged resistance with the bat helped Sudbury earn a draw.
BATTLER: Johnny Gallagher failed to take a wicket, but his dogged resistance with the bat helped Sudbury earn a draw.
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Sudbury 138-8 drew

with Horsford 251-7

SUDBURY battled their way to a draw against high-flying Horsford at Friars Street on Saturday.

The visitors won the toss and elected to bat under sunny skies. Horsford’s opening pair included Essex’s Jaik Mickleburgh and he wasted no time in dispatching the Sudbury opening pair to all parts of the ground.

Such was the extent of the onslaught that by the 13th over Sudbury had used five bowlers in an attempt to stem the flow of runs. The score had passed 100 before Hyett bowled one that beat Spencely in the flight before turning sharply to bowl him through the gate.

Sudbury skipper Darren Batch had taken it upon himself to slow the run rate and he finally did for the exceptional Mickleburgh for 75 from as many balls.

The remainder of the innings ebbed and flowed as Sudbury attempted to play catch up, the hosts always managing to take a wicket just as it looked like the game would be taken well out of reach.

Horsford declared on 252-7, Batch 3-50, Hasantha Fernando 2-48 and Ben Hyett 2-76 sharing the wickets.

Peter Siegert and Jonathan Phillips opened in reply and started steadily before Siegert was trapped in front for seven. Fernando was soon joining him for a run a ball nine, and when James Poulson fell to leave Sudbury 32-3 the home crowd feared the worst.

An excellent partnership between Phillips and Nathan Poole saw Sudbury reach tea in relative comfort. After the break Poole fell for 22, leaving Sudbury 94-4.

This wicket brought about a mini collapse that has been seen too often from Sudbury in the last couple of years.

First Batch was beaten by one that spun sharply to trap him in front. Then Phillips fell for a well played 44, before Will Shropshire edged to slip and Billy Moulton-Day top edged a slower ball.

The home side’s blushes were saved by Adam Mansfield and Johnny Gallagher as they battled out the final 10 overs to see Sudbury to safety. Psychologically Sudbury will feel their hard-fought draw was worth more than the six points it gained them.

They make the short trip to Halstead this week hoping for a better all-round display.