GIBBS DENLEY EAST ANGLIAN PREMIER LEAGUE
Sudbury 112 Halstead* 116
HALSTEAD won the toss under sunny skies and decided to bat first.
Sudbury’s new fast bowler Matthew Hunn made an immediate impact by removing both Halstead openers.
Hunn’s extra pace was too much for the batsmen early on.
Jonny Gallagher opened from the other end and quickly removed the experienced Spatcher, caught behind to reduce Halstead to 7-3.
Halstead’s number four was the dangerous Amit Gupta and he played some glorious drives off both seamers and looked comfortable against the moving ball.
The bowling change brought about his demise as he drove firmly to a full-pitched Nathan Poole delivery and was grabbed at mid-off by Batch.
Ekers fell in the same fashion in the next over to give Smith his first wicket for the club, Halstead wobbling on 45-5.
Halstead captain Tom Philp came to the crease and along with Blackwell steadied the ship. Philp defended stoutly at one end while Blackwell played freely at the other to make 30, but he fell lbw just before lunch to Smith.
Halstead made it to lunch without further damage despite giving three difficult chances, but the Sudbury fielders failed to hold on.
Opening partners Gallagher and Hunn began again after lunch but it was Gallagher who took centre stage.
He bowled Philp with an in-swinger, and two balls later he knocked Rayner’s off-stump out of the ground with one that swung away.
This brought Elsbury to the crease and Gallagher removed him with another full swinging ball that crashed into the pads.
Last man in was Charlton and he also only lasted one ball as Gallagher clean bowled him to take his hat-trick and fourth wicket in five balls.
A truly remarkable over and a proud moment for the Sudbury swinger. Halstead were all out for 116.
Sudbury’s chase started badly as they lost Siegert for two, caught behind off Gupta, and Batch soon followed LBW to Philp.
Philp was charging in and bowling very dangerous in-swinging deliveries that Sudbury’s top order could not deal with. Sudbury were reduced to 38-6.
This brought together Poole and Janaka, Sudbury’s replacement professional.
Progress was steady until with 12 needed for victory Poole hit one into the off side and called for a single. Janaka refused the run to leave Poole stranded in the middle of the pitch.
Spatcher got two LBWs to leave Sudbury needing eight to win with one wicket left but in desperation to get Janaka back on strike Hunn was run out to leave Sudbury four runs short. Janaka finished 49 not out.
A great game for the neutral, Sudbury bitterly disappointed not to get a win in their first EAPL game, but will take great confidence from an excellent bowling and fielding display as they travel to Great Witchingham next Saturday.