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Suffolk make two alterations for NCCA Trophy quarter-final clash with Oxfordshire



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Ben Claydon is expected to be available to take his place in the Suffolk side for Sunday’s NCCA Trophy quarter-final tie versus Oxfordshire.

Claydon did not bat or bowl in the second innings of the 286-run loss to Norfolk in the NCCA Championship at Woolpit CC earlier this week after testing positive for Covid.

However, the 22-year-old all-rounder, who scored a superb 123 in Suffolk’s 66-run victory over Cheshire to book their place in the last eight, should return for the match at Banbury CC, start 11am.

George Rhodes is pictured bowling above on his Suffolk debut versus Norfolk at Woolpit CC. Picture: Chris Winder
George Rhodes is pictured bowling above on his Suffolk debut versus Norfolk at Woolpit CC. Picture: Chris Winder

Suffolk will show two changes to the side that won their final Group 3 game at Didsbury CC, with Josh Frame, who has Covid, and the unavailable Matt Allen dropping out.

Dom Manthorpe, who would have provided a like-for-like replacement for Allen, is also unavailable, meaning both George Rhodes and Luke Froggatt, who made their three-day debuts versus Norfolk, come into the side.

Leicestershire all-rounder Rhodes took three of the six Norfolk wickets to fall and then top-scored with 45 in Suffolk’s second innings.

Suffolk head coach Andy Northcote said: “George Rhodes will add much needed experience with both the bat, ball and in the field.

“He showed his worth through the three-day game and fitted in to the squad really well.

“I am hopeful that we have found a player that will be around for a few years now.”

Looking ahead to Sunday’s tie against the side that defeated Suffolk in the NCCA Championship play-off final last season, Northcote said: “This game is no more important than any other; we play every game to win. We all collectively love playing for the lion and always aim to do our best.

“Last season is just about forgotten, although the scars will last forever. This year, Oxfordshire will be a real challenge and are arguably the most in-form side in the country.

“They have a good balance to their XI and are filled with promising cricketers. However, we have the ability to beat anyone on our day if we do the basics well.

“I think some of the boys will carry a few nerves into the game following the two heavy Championship defeats as that’s only natural, but it is the job of (coach) Adam Mansfield and myself to eradicate those thoughts and get them thinking in the present as quick as possible.”

Suffolk: Darren Batch, Jack Beaumont, Alex Oxley, Ben Claydon, George Rhodes, Ben Parker, Andrew Northcote (wkt), Josh Cantrell, Tom Rash (capt), Luke Froggatt, Paddy Sadler. 12th man: Tom Harper.