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EAPL round-up: League-leading Sawston & Babraham held to draw while Copdock & Old Ipswichian and Mildenhall chalk up victories



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The competitive nature of the Read Brothers Ltd East Anglian Premier League was there for all to see on Saturday as defending champions – and current leaders – Sawston & Babraham (228) were held to a draw at second-from-bottom Frinton-on-Sea (200-7).

Batting first, opener Charlie Lewis (49), Noah Thain (48) and Alexander Stafford (41) were the stand-out performers for visiting Sawston, who were bowled out halfway through the 58th over.

Attention then switched to taking 10 wickets, but the Rams were frustrated in their quest for victory by the home side's batting line-up.

Peter Hatzoglou took another five-for for Sawston & Babraham. Picture: Richard Marsham
Peter Hatzoglou took another five-for for Sawston & Babraham. Picture: Richard Marsham

The division's leading wicket taker – Peter Hatzoglou – did his best with figures of 5-55, which took his tally for the campaign to 26 wickets, as well as being his third five-for.

There was also a wicket for George Darlow and a run out courtesy of captain Dan Heath, but ultimately the table toppers ran out of time and had to settle for a 14-point haul, with Frinton collecting 11.

Thirty-five points adrift of Sawston in second place are Mildenhall (184) following their 54-run triumph at Horsford (130).

Mildenhall's Naveen Gunawardana is up to second on the EAPL's leading wicket taker standings. Picture: Mark Westley
Mildenhall's Naveen Gunawardana is up to second on the EAPL's leading wicket taker standings. Picture: Mark Westley

In what was a below par display with the bat by Mildenhall, opener Jack Potticary top scored with his knock of 64 runs from 78 deliveries.

Nevertheless, it proved to be a total that was beyond the home side – thanks largely to performance of Naveen Gunawardana (5-33).

The Sri Lanka spinner's five-for moved him up to second in the division's wicket-taking standings behind Hatzoglou with 23.

Captain Darren Ironside also made a useful contribution with the ball courtesy of his figures of 3-41.

Mildenhall captain Darren Ironside weighed in with three wickets. Picture: Mark Westley
Mildenhall captain Darren Ironside weighed in with three wickets. Picture: Mark Westley

Sam Arthurton's top score of 69 at the top of the order helped third-placed Copdock & Old Ipswichian (264-3) see off basement side Saffron Walden (261-6) by seven wickets, while Bury St Edmunds (163) are fourth after slipping to a six-wicket defeat across the Essex border at Witham (167-4).

Bury captain Ben Seabrook lost the toss and was asked to bat. With double batting points for the team that bats first, it can often be an advantage, but some days things go well and others are not so positive – on this occasion the latter was true for the visitors.

Bury had a decent start with Sean Park (24) and Justin Bishop (33) putting on 61 for the first wicket, but on 85 bad luck struck as Bishop drove the ball back towards the non-striker's stumps, with ball being touched by bowler Jake Wakelin's hand on its way, leaving Jacob Miltz just out of his crease and heading back to the pavilion. Bishop, meanwhile. was out soon after with two wickets falling on 85

After lunch wickets fell at regular intervals, while Josh Cantrell – despite a twisted ankle – batted gamely for 29 as Onke Nyaku (4-55) Wakelin (3-27) caused problems.

Sudbury players celebrate one of their wickets against Swardeston on Saturday. Picture: Mecha Morton
Sudbury players celebrate one of their wickets against Swardeston on Saturday. Picture: Mecha Morton

The Witham reply was solid throughout, though Bishop had Nick Browne caught by wicketkeeper Miltz for 24 and soon after Chris Huntington was out, bowled Rufus Easdale at 64-2.

And 14 runs later Michael Goodwin was caught my Miltz, hinting that Bury may be back in the contest. But with Cantrell unable to bowl further problems occurred as Oliver Riddick left the field in discomfort with a dislocated finger and in the end Witham completed the job in relative comfort.

Now just one point behind Bury in fifth are Sudbury (219-5) after they played out a draw at Friars Street with Swardeston (336-7).

Asked to bat first, the away side amassed an impressive 336 from their 64 overs, mainly due to a fine 114 from Callum Taylor and 83 not out from Richard Sims. All but one of the top nine batters played a role, aided at times by some sloppy fielding from the Talbots.

Matt Wareing gets ready to bowl against Swardeston. Picture: Mecha Morton
Matt Wareing gets ready to bowl against Swardeston. Picture: Mecha Morton

Matt Wareing (4-58) removed both openers in his first spell before Taylor came to the crease and his 108 third-wicket partnership with his skipper Lewis Denmark (35) changed both the pace and nature of the innings.

Sudbury’s bowlers toiled away on a batter friendly wicket with Paddy Sadler, Lasith Lakshan and James Poulson all picking up a wicket.

Swardeston surprised quite a few in the crowd as they decided to use their full allocation of overs once they had achieved maximum batting points and passed the 300 mark and although Sudbury’s innings started at a useful rate it soon became evident that the chase from 56 overs was not realistically on.

Adam Mansfield (20) and Darren Batch (71) put on a solid opening partnership of 71 but as the required rate crept to over eight an over the Sudbury batters sole concern was to gain as many batting points as possible without exposing themselves to a batting collapse.

Captain Paddy Sadler bowls for Sudbury at the weekend. Picture: Mecha Morton
Captain Paddy Sadler bowls for Sudbury at the weekend. Picture: Mecha Morton

Lakshan (31 not out) played his best innings of the season with some quality cover drives and Alex Quin (26) showed his maturing status as a top-order batsman as he survived a spell of aggressive bowling.

The innings closed with the loss of five wickets and 118 runs adrift of the target but the nine points gained narrowed the gap on the top four.

Fixtures (Saturday, June 11)

Copdock & Old Ipswichian v Sudbury

Great Witchingham v Saffron Walden

Mildenhall v Frinton-on-Sea

Sawston & Babraham v Witham

Swardeston v Horsford

Week off: Bury St Edmunds