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Essex opener Nick Browne stars for Suffolk during win over Norfolk



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Nick Browne praised his fellow batters after Suffolk thrashed old rivals Norfolk by nine wickets in their opening NCCA Trophy Group 3 game of the season.

Essex opener Nick Browne, whose only previous appearance for Suffolk was back in 2013, scored an undefeated 90 and shared a second-wicket stand of 149 with Ben Claydon, who contributed 80.

That followed on from an opening partnership of 83 in 14 overs with Jack Beaumont, who made 53, as Suffolk won with 20 balls to spare at Mildenhall Cricket Club's Wamil Way base on Sunday.

Nick Browne made a telling contribution to Suffolk's win over Norfolk. Picture: Mark Westley
Nick Browne made a telling contribution to Suffolk's win over Norfolk. Picture: Mark Westley

They made short work of chasing down their target of 230 in a match reduced from 50-overs-a-side to 46 due to rain delaying the start by 90 minutes.

Browne’s 90 off 110 balls included eight fours and a six to finish the match, while Claydon’s undefeated 80 was laced with nine fours and a six.

Browne, who is available to Suffolk on a dual registration while Essex are involved in the Vitality T20 Blast, said: “I thought it may be a tough chase but a couple of our boys played nicely and kicked on and we managed to get over the line.

Ben Claydon scored 80 runs at the top of the order. Picture: Mark Westley
Ben Claydon scored 80 runs at the top of the order. Picture: Mark Westley

“Jack was brilliant at the start and took a lot of pressure off me when I was struggling to get rhythm on what was a bit of a slow wicket; he managed to find the middle and score quickly and it allowed me to get into my innings a bit more.

“Ben came out and played really well – everything came out of the middle and again took the pressure off me and I could knock it around and anchor the innings.”

After winning the toss and inserting Norfolk, the visitors made a flying start with 40 runs coming off the opening six overs, before Tristan Blackledge struck with his first ball.

Mildenhall all-rounder Blackledge, restored to the team due to Sudbury all-rounder Darren Batch suffering a side strain, and Suffolk skipper Tom Rash applied some pressure to slow the scoring rate.

Jack Beaumont celebrates reaching his 50 alongside Nick Browne. Picture: Mark Westley
Jack Beaumont celebrates reaching his 50 alongside Nick Browne. Picture: Mark Westley

Beaumont picked up the key wicket of Norfolk opener Sam Arthurton for 41 with the aid of a low catch at short mid-on by Ben Shepperson.

However, a stand of 107 inside 17 overs between Tom New, whose 70 came off 63 deliveries, and Sam King, with 47 from 51 balls, saw Norfolk close on 229-6.

Beaumont finished with figures of 3-43 and Blackledge 2-31 from nine overs apiece, before Beaumont biffed 53 off 45 balls with nine fours.

He fell leg before to Will Rogers off the last ball of the 14th over, but Claydon picked up where he left off and together with Browne saw Suffolk home.

Suffolk’s second group game is against Shropshire at Oswestry on Sunday.