Reece helps Sudbury dig out victory at Horsford
League leaders Sudbury (230-8) left it late on Saturday to wrack up another win in the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League, claiming a two-wicket victory at Horsford (227-9) with the penultimate ball of the final over.
The win saw the Talbots retain their 40-point lead at the top of the division with six matches left from second-placed Swardeston, who were the side that chased them all the way to the title last season.
Tom Huggins won the toss and invited Horsford to bat as the league format returned to the 50-over one-day format.
And despite Horsford’s opening batsman Chad Bowes (team-mate of Tim Johnston at Canterbury, New Zealand) scoring a fine 110 it was only in the last two overs of the match that Horsford really went on the attack. And the 31 runs added resulted in a challenging total of 227.
With Dustin Melton still unable to bowl the wickets were shared around with overseas professional Johnston returning 3-42.
Sudbury’s reply was always on target at a run rate of 4.56 an over until the side started to lose wickets at regular intervals as they entered the final 10 overs.
Once recent addition from Copdock & Old Ipswichians Martyn Cull (55) was out, the side lost five wickets for 43 runs in nine overs, which meant the required run rate increased, albeit with a few wickets left in hand.
Ben Reece then took centre stage and his 28 not out saw the side home claim victory in dramatic fashion with Ollie Burns (1no) his partner in the final over, which was not a bad way for the latter to celebrate his debut 1st XI match and to start his celebrations for his 18th birthday on Sunday.
Earlier, Huggins had made 40 and whilst all the main batsmen made a start, only Cull was able to post a score above the low twenties.
A 40-point lead at the top of the table is an excellent position to be in but the side now face all their main challengers in the coming weeks and will not be taking anything for granted.
Great Witchingham, who are 69 points behind Sudbury in fifth, visit Friars Street on Saturday (11am) on the back of their costly 19-run defeat at home to Frinton.