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Essex 2nd XI batsman Feroze Khushi comes in to boost Suffolk for must-win Unicorns T20 double-header against Bedfordshire

Feroze Khushi will make his debut for Suffolk in Sunday’s Unicorns T20 Competition double-header away to Bedfordshire, writes Nick Garnham.

Khushi, a 19-year-old top-order batsman who scored an undefeated 112 for Essex second XI versus Suffolk in a pre-season friendly, has signed on a dual registration.

He has been drafted into the Suffolk side as both Jaik Mickleburgh and Culford School student Alex Oxley are unavailable for the matches at Dunstable Town CC (11am).

Suffolk head coach Andy Northcote, left,pictured with Jaik Mickleburgh, who is unavailable for Sunday’smatches versus Bedfordshire Photograph: Nick Garnham (10876526)
Suffolk head coach Andy Northcote, left,pictured with Jaik Mickleburgh, who is unavailable for Sunday’smatches versus Bedfordshire Photograph: Nick Garnham (10876526)

Suffolk head coach Andy Northcote said: “Feroze, although young, is a skilled batter who will add much value to our XI. He’s still learning his trade but finds himself on the Essex books and helps us continue to build our links with them.

“With a bit of luck he will play all games for us for the foreseeable future when they don’t clash with his Essex Eagles commitments.”

Feroze is one of four changes to the Suffolk side that won the first fixture against Cambridgeshire at Woolpit CC a fortnight ago.

Also missing are Sudbury’s Ben Reece (unavailable) and Copdock & Old Ipswichian opening bowler Matt Hunn, formerley of Sudbury and Bury St Edmunds, who has not recovered from the side strain he suffered after bowling just eight balls.

Former Sudbury opening bowler Billy Moulton-Day, who is now with Witham, retains his place after replacing Hunn in the second match.

Suffolk and Sudbury skipper Adam Mansfield returns after a hamstring injury and former Bury St Edmunds captain Michael Comber and Hundon-based Jack Beaumont are added to the squad.

Northcote said: “Matt Hunn’s experience will be sorely missed for sure, but he is replaced by the return of Billy Moulton-Day. Of course, they are incomparable on many levels including the type of bowler they are.

“However, Billy has demonstrated in the past that he has exceptional control and great T20 death bowling skills and I am delighted to welcome him back. It’s an area we have struggled in so hopefully, he will be our missing link.”

Although Suffolk have won two and lost two of their four matches so far, Northcote feels they have improved as a side this season.

He said: “If nothing else, our understanding and tactics seem far improved this time around and that means we are on the right track. We learn from our successes and failures which, I suppose, is what sport is about.

“Our spinners have bowled exceptionally well and we now blessed in that department for the T20-style spinner. Josh Cantrell (Bury St Edmunds) and Ben Reece have been very good and supported by Jake Foley when needed. With the bat, we have started better than last year more often than not; simply the way we approach the power-play upfront.”

Northcote has already stated that Suffolk realistically need to win all four of their remaining matches – they face Hertfordshire in their final double-header at Ipswich School on June 9 – if they are to qualify from their group.

In order to stand a chance of achieving this he said: “This will simply be down to executing the set plans which we have done in spells of all games but not consistently throughout the competition.

“Our boys have shown they have the ability, have demonstrated they can do it, gained belief in themselves and now we just need to string it together.”

Suffolk squad: Feroze Khushi, Adam Mansfield (capt & wkt), Jake Foley, Darren Batch, Ben Shepperson, Michael Comber, Tom Rash, James Poulson, Josh Cantrell, Ollie Bocking, Bill Moulton-Day, Jack Beaumont.

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