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Worlington batsman Craig Estlea just 24 runs away from new record in The Cricketer National Village Cup

Craig Estlea has been in the form of his life in The Cricketer National Village Cup and is just 24 runs away from breaking the highest ever run total in the competition.

Worlington (354-7) beat Woodham Mortimer (146) by 208 runs in the regional final – round four – on Sunday to progress to the National Rounds.

And Estlea contributed 117 runs to surpass the century mark for the third time in the competition, bringing his total run tally up to 513.

Cricket action from Diss v Worlington, pictured is Craig Estlea in bat for Worlington and Lewis Taylor in wicket. ..Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography. (12156833)
Cricket action from Diss v Worlington, pictured is Craig Estlea in bat for Worlington and Lewis Taylor in wicket. ..Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography. (12156833)

It was the only game the club played this weekend, with their Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Division One clash against Lakenheath cancelled due to heavy rain as was the seconds’ game.

But Estlea, who said more regular cricket was the secret to his success, did not let the cancellation dampen his spirits as he hit 117 the next day to put him on the cusp of breaking the current (digitised) record.

It sits at 537 runs – scored by Joe Adams of eventual winners Glynde & Beddingham Cricket Club in Sussex in the 2009 tournament.

This should ‘easily’ be achieved in the next round, with Worly due to face Foxton in round five on June 23, according to club captain Richard Ford.

“He’s been in phenomenal form in the competition,” Ford, who himself lies in second in the list of Village Cup top scorers this year with 354 runs, said.

“So fingers crossed he can do it in the next round against Foxton, with the form he’s in, he should do this easily,” Ford continued.

“He’s the sort of player that, if he can surpass that total in the next game, who knows what total he will go on to reach, he just keeps going and he’s just really buzzing about it. His runs so far have been massive.”

Worlington’s batsman have already gained a reputation in the two years they have entered the competition, with Jimmy Watson hitting three centuries as Worly reached the quarter-final.

His total of 500 runs across the six rounds has, however, already been surpassed by Estlea two rounds earlier.

His knock on Sunday was well-supported by Watson (62), Ziaf Kulasi (55), captain Mark Nunn (44 not out) and Richard Ford (36) as Worly amassed 354-7 in their 40-over innings.

In reply, Worly were able to keep wickets regularly falling to prevent their opposition getting into a rhythm as they limited them to 146 runs.

Lee Thompson (3-26), Paul Marston (2-11), Kulasi (2-18), Frank Stennett (2-33) and Nunn (1-8) picked up the wickets as the team won through with ease to set-up next Sunday’s away clash.

Ford said: “We do seem to bat well in the cup. I think it’s just the freedom to go out there and play, we’ve got nothing to lose really so we can throw caution to the wind.

“And we’ve been so lucky with the home draws, so it will be a fresh challenge to face Foxton away. But there’s still no pressure on Craig ­– except a hope he can carry that form into our Saturday game.”

Worly will travel to Mistley on Saturday (1pm) for the Division One clash.

“It’s very frustrating not to be able to play,” Ford said. “We’ve only lost once this season but we’re mid-table due to two cancellations. But we’re quietly confident and we’re playing good cricket.”

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