Suffolk captain Adam Mansfield gutted after dramatic Unicorns KO Trophy semi-final defeat to Devon
Suffolk skipper Adam Mansfield admitted it was ‘gutting’ to exit the semi-finals of this season’s Unicorns KO Trophy to Devon in an extraordinary finale.
Devon won by virtue of losing fewer wickets after the scores ended level at the scenic setting of Sidmouth CC in Sunday’s rain-affected last-four tie.
The start was delayed until 2.50pm and the match was reduced to 35 overs-a-side, after heavy rain – the first to hit the area in around six weeks – started falling on Sunday morning.
Devon posted 201 for 8 in their 33 overs, after a further two overs were lost to a brief shower, leaving Suffolk a revised target of 200 under the Duckworth Lewis method.
With six required off the final over, Sudbury’s James Poulson hit the second ball for four, leaving two needed from four balls. Poulson was then stumped and Bury St Edmunds’ Josh Cantrell was only able to scramble a leg bye off the last ball to level the scores.
Confusion briefly reigned as one of the umpires ran from the field to consult the rule book, before the tannoy announcer confirmed that Devon had won.
Mansfield, who struck 13 off nine balls which included a six and a four in consecutive deliveries at a crucial stage to bolster Suffolk’s chances of victory, lamented: “It is gutting to get so close, but at the end of the day we were not quite good enough as we ended up losing.
“With two runs to get off four balls you should be getting that 99 times out of 100, but we failed to do so.
“We started slowly because we lost early wickets (Suffolk were 45 for 4 when Jaik Mickleburgh was out at the start of the 12th over) but we then played the positive cricket that we normally play and backed ourselves to get close.
“For Tom Rash (21 not out) and James Poulson (13 off six balls) to come in and hit the ball like they did was top drawer.
“We played how coach Any Northcote and myself want us to play. We have fun as a team but as soon as we cross that white line we switch on and give 100 per cent for each other, and that is all we can ask for.”
Suffolk now host Bedfordshire in a three-day Unicorns Championship fixture at the Victory Ground in Bury St Edmunds, starting at 11am on Sunday.