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Newmarket Cricket Club make convincing start to the new season

As far as starts go, they do not get much better than the one Newmarket Cricket Club’s senior side made last weekend.

In what was the first Saturday league cricket played in the town for four years, Newmarket put visiting Ufford Park to the sword in impressive fashion.

Their scorching score of 361-3 from 50 overs included unbeaten centuries from captain Mark Nunn (121) and Maxford Pipe (129), before the bowlers went on to restrict the away side to 209 all out in reply.

Newmarket recorded a comfortable opening-day victory at The Severals. Picture: Mark Westley
Newmarket recorded a comfortable opening-day victory at The Severals. Picture: Mark Westley

It sealed an empathic 152-run victory, much to the delight of Nunn, who also took three wickets with the ball.

“To get a win in your first game of the season is the most important thing,” said the all-rounder.

“You want to get off to a good start – everyone does – but to do it so convincingly has surpassed my expectations. I didn’t expect it to be so convincing but in the end it was great.

“To win by more than 150 runs is the perfect start. It feels like a real statement.

“To score 361 on the first ever home game at the ground is an incredible achievement.

“I knew we had a strong batting line-up, but I didn’t know how the wicket was going to play. That’s why I thought our bowling might be stronger, but I was delighted with how we played (with the bat).”

Batting first, Newmarket saw opener James Atkinson (14) and his replacement Amit Gupta (0) depart early in their innings.

However, the side’s other opener – former Mildenhall and Worlington all-rounder Ziaf Kulasi – hit the ball to all parts of the ground on his way to scoring 72.

And when he was bowled by Hugo Bell, that allowed Nunn to join Pipe at the crease. And the pair went on to form a destructive partnership that ended any hopes Ufford Park had of winning the Cambs & Hunts Whitings & Partners Division Two encounter.

To their credit the visitors refused to throw in the towel, but wickets fell at regular intervals as Nunn’s trio was accompanied by Freddie Statham (3-46), Frank Stennett (2-19), Gupta (1-20) and Kulasi (1-2).

Newmarket head to Waresley on Saturday (12.30pm), although nobody is getting carried away with such an emphatic start to the campaign.

Nunn added: “Confidence is high but we can’t under-estimate anyone. We know nothing about any of the sides, so just because we’ve had one good result doesn’t mean every game will go like that. We need to be level headed.”

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