Batch praises bowlers as leaders Sudbury see off Norwich
Sudbury (186-8) stretched their lead at the top of the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League table to 24 points with a five-wicket win at Postwick against hosting Norwich (186-8) on Saturday.
Norwich won the toss and chose to bat first on a used pitch which looked like it would deteriorate as the day went on.
Sudbury opening bowlers James Poulson and Dustin Melton kept things tight early on with the batsmen struggling for timing.
Sudbury had to wait until the 16th over for the breakthrough which came when Tim Johnston had Oliver Higenbottam caught at mid-on. Tom Huggins struck next, trapping Jack Newby LBW to leave the hosts on 44-2.
A 68-run partnership between Ashley Watson and Nipuna Senaratne then helped Norwich past the 100 mark.
Huggins was the man to break the partnership when he snuck one through Watson’s defences. Wickets then fell at regular intervals, despite a below-par performance in the field from the Talbots, who dropped no fewer than six catches.
Dustin Melton (2-52) bowled a superb spell either side of the lunch break which really dented any chance the home side had of making a competitive total. Norwich closed their innings on 186-8.
Sudbury got off to a bad start to their reply, losing Adam Mansfield in the second over of the innings when he edged to slip.
Huggins and Darren Batch then added 72 to put the table toppers back in command. But Batch departed thanks to an athletic catch from Norwich skipper Watson.
Kenny Moulton-Day added 12 quick runs but was undone by Watson, this time his bowling doing the damage.
Ben Parker looked in very fluent form, at times seemingly toying with the fielders with expert placement.
Parker fell just short of what would have been a well deserved half century.
Once again though, it was Huggins who was the rock which the Sudbury innings was built around. The Talbot skipper struck 11 fours and one six in his match-winning innings of 81, seeing his side home by five wickets with 12 overs to spare.
Club captain Darren Batch said: “It was a real important win for us.
“The pitch was not a particularly good one but the way our bowlers stuck to their task, especially when we were down one with Jonny Gallagher not available, was key.
“Dustin took a fair bit of that work on himself and bowled an excellent spell either side of lunch.”
While he put on a vital 70-run partnership with Tom Huggins, he also praised Ben Parker’s contribution with the bat.
“It was the most fluent he has been for us,” he said.