Bowlers have no answer as Sudbury overtaken at top

ALL SMILES: Sudbury II's Steve Witham shares a joke on his way to a quick-fire 66 in their victory over Needham Market at Friars Street on Saturday

ALL SMILES: Sudbury II's Steve Witham shares a joke on his way to a quick-fire 66 in their victory over Needham Market at Friars Street on Saturday

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MARSHALL HATCHICK TWO COUNTIES CHAMPIONSHIP DIVISION ONE: Frinton 241-5 beat Sudbury 240-7 by five wickets

Sudbury slipped to only their second defeat of the season following a fiercely-contested match against fellow title-challengers Frinton.

Skipper Jonathan Phillips’ decision to bat first looked sound as, alongside fellow opener Nathan Poole, they added 68 for the first wicket before Poole was caught off former Essex opening bowler Mervyn Westfield for 33.

With Darren Batch joining Phillips, Sudbury looked to rebuild and, just when they looked like helping Sudbury to a healthy total, Batch was adjudged lbw for nine.

A similar pattern continued as Mike Jones was run out for 24.

In between Matt Pears departed for six, Phillips moved to his third half century of the season, but with his dismissal Sudbury were in danger of falling short of a respectable total.

But as the previous week, Sudbury’s middle-order continued their good form with James Poulson making a run a ball 29 and Ben Reece a brilliant 50 off only 29 deliveries, to help Sudbury reach 240-7 off their allocated 50 overs.

In reply, Frinton opener Perrin was caught by Phillips off the bowling of Moulton-Day to reduce the home team to 11- 1 off the first five overs.

It brought the experienced Trevor Moulton alongside opener Tom Sinclair and they punished some unusually wayward bowling with only Poulson able to exert any kind of control.

The introduction of spinners Jones, and then Reece, stemmed the flow which in turn led to the dismissal of both batsmen for 76 and 58.

With West Indian Greaves also falling, at 176-4 in the 40th over, Sudbury had forced their way back into the game.

But they had not counted on former Essex player Westfield, who went on to fire a fierce assault on the bowling of Jones, moving them on to a match-winning 56 from only 36 balls.

n Sudbury II (290-7) maintained top spot in Division Three with a 17-run win over Needham Market (273-7) in a high-scoring match at Friars Street.

Peter Siegert (33) and Will Shropshire (94) calmly played their way to a 100 partnership, while Steve Witham blitzed 66 in seven overs.

Adi D’Hage proved to be the standout bowler, finishing with 3-80 from 15 overs, saving Sudbury from what could have been a clumsy defeat.