Batch praises Mansfield for fine century as Sudbury's title is secured
The perfect end to a fantastic season for Sudbury Cricket Club arrived at 5.12pm on Saturday when James Poulson held a catch in the deep to claim the final Norwich wicket and seal a 123-run victory for 25 points and the EAPL championship for the second season in a row.
The scenes and celebrations among the players was equalled by the large crowd of spectators, and although the result meant Norwich finished bottom and have to go through the play-offs in a bid to retain their Premier League status, the visitors were full of praise for Sudbury’s achievement and very magnanimous in defeat.
Tom Huggins won the toss and elected to bat first and Sudbury’s innings followed an almost perfect pattern.
The first wicket did not fall until 134 shortly after the half-way drinks interval (Huggins 76). And another century partnership was put on for the second wicket before Adam Mansfield was bowled to end his excellent and well deserved innings of 108.
Darren Batch (68) was Adam’s partner and he took up the challenge of increasing the tempo of the innings.
He was followed by the middle order as the last seven overs of the innings yielded 99 runs in a final tally of 323.
In reply, Norwich were soon one down but then a fine partnership between Jack Newby (105) and captain Will O’Donnell (48) briefly threatened to challenge Sudbury’s huge total.
When Newby reached 78 he became the highest-scoring batsman in a season in the history of the EAPL – a fine innings from a fine player.
But after O’Donnell had been bowled by Huggins, Newby never found a partner that could hang around for very long and a scorecard that shows four ducks tells the story as Norwich were all out in 38 overs.
There were excellent figures from Billy Moulton-Day (3-21) and Tim Johnston (3-19) as they took regular wickets ahead of the cue for the celebrations.
Club captain Batch said: “We knew the partnership between O’Donnell and Newby was the key one as they are both good players.
“Tom managed to get the wicket of O’Donnell and from then on the scoreboard pressure mounted and they were always behind the asking rate.
“Tom bowled very well and Tim bowled exceptionally well and got the important wicket of Jack Newby at the end.”
He was also delighted to see Suffolk skipper Mansfield get his century to send them on their way.
“Adam got a brilliant hundred. He is a very popular member of the squad.
“He does a job which is very difficult in wicketkeeping but then to open the batting as well, a position he found himself in, and do so well, shows what he is like. He richly deserved his 100.”