Rash-inspired Suffolk team make Unicorns KO Trophy semis
Suffolk all-rounder Tom Rash says he can’t wait for the semi-final of this season’s Unicorns KO Trophy.
Rash, who joined Mildenhall from Copdock & Old Ipswichian prior to this season, played a pivotal role as Suffolk defeated Oxfordshire by six wickets at Banbury CC on Sunday.
The victory sets up a semi-final – the first time Suffolk have reached the last four since winning the competition in 2007 – away to Devon on July 1st.
The 34-year-old claimed career-best one-day figures of five for 34, including taking three of the first four wickets to fall, as Suffolk restricted their hosts to 190 for 8 in their 50 overs.
Oxfordshire recovered from 12 for 4 to post 190 for 8 off their 50 overs thanks to a 138-stand for the fifth wicket between Jonny Cater (63) and Olly Clarke, who made 75.
Rash (10-2-34-5) received excellent support from Sudbury pair James Poulson and Darren Batch, who conceded just 33 runs from their combined 20 overs.
Jaik Mickleburgh (39) and Kyran Young (44) then set Suffolk on their way with a stand of 78 for the second wicket, before Batch (46) figured in a fourth-wicket partnership of 66 with Darren Ironside, who ended undefeated on 42 as Suffolk eased to victory.
Rash, who was a member of the Suffolk side that lost to Devon by 138 runs when they last met in a Unicorns KO Trophy Quarter-Final tie in 2014, said: “I can’t wait for the semi-final to come round.
“Devon are traditionally a strong Minor Counties side because of their links with Somerset, which has produced the Overton brothers and Dom Bess in recent years, but you just have to play the team put in front of you.”
With Billy Moulton-Day dropping out injured – his brother Kenny was called-up for his debut at short notice – and Adam Ball unavailable, Rash was given the new ball after Suffolk won the toss.
He said: “I open the bowling in club cricket, and I have done it for Suffolk before and I really relish it. With Billy and Adam dropping out I was given the chance and I did my best for the team."
He added: “It is nice to get five wickets, but it doesn’t mean anything unless the team win, and we have knocked the runs off nonchalantly. Jaik (Mickleburgh) and Kyran (Young) got us off to a great start and Darren Batch played really well and Darren Ironside finished it off.”
* For more reaction from Rash and a round-up of the local club cricket scene, see this week's papers.