First Suffolk match at Woolpit ends in thriller

CRICKET: Minor Counties match Suffolk v Bedfordshire, Suffolk's Michael Comber at the crease  PICTURE: Mecha Morton
CRICKET: Minor Counties match Suffolk v Bedfordshire, Suffolk's Michael Comber at the crease PICTURE: Mecha Morton
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Suffolk recorded a thrilling victory over Bedfordshire, by just six runs, to reach the quarter-final stages of the MCCA Unicorns Trophy.

Woolpit Cricket Club hosted it, their first Minor Counties fixture, with the exciting conclusion the icing on the cake of a ‘lovely day’ for the Two Counties Division One side.

Suffolk CCC, captained by Adam Mansfield, will progress to the knock-out stages of the competition after taking second place in the group four table on run-rate.

Mansfield won the toss and elected to bat, but opener Jaik Mickleburgh’s dismissal threatened to make the hosts vulnerable on 110-4.

The arrival of Sudbury club captain Batch (60) and Tom Rash (82no), gave the innings a much-needed boost.

The hosts reached a total of 261-6 off their 50 overs.

Bedfordshire’s opening pair of Jack Keeping (52) and Ben Mansell (14) replied strongly, putting on 46 before Rash made the vital breakthrough.

But it was spinner Jack Beaumont who blitzed the middle order — taking 5-41 off his 10 overs — to leave the visitors on the brink of defeat, ably supported by Jake Wakelin.

Bedfordshire looked down-and-out at 144-9, still 118 runs short of victory with just one wicket remaining.

But a fantastic last wicket stand of 111, between middle order batsman Callum Berrill (65no) and number 11 Kamran Anwar (68), saw Bedfordshire threaten to pull off a thrilling victory.

They were just seven runs short of victory, with three balls to go, when Anwar was bowled by Matt Salisbury to leave the visitors agonisingly short on 255 all out, off 49.4 overs.