Worly win top-of-the-table clash
Worlington (295-4) took a big stride towards clinching an historic first-ever Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship Division One title by winning Saturday’s top-of-the-table clash at Woolpit (151) by a hefty 144-run margin.
Table-topping Worlington went into the clash holding a 21-point lead over their hosts, who had won each of their previous five outings.
However, that positive sequence was ended in emphatic style by visiting Worlington, who are now 33 points clear at the summit with seven matches remaining of the 2018 season.
Stand-in skipper Craig Estlea, who is a former Woolpit player, won the toss at his old ground and opted to bat first.
It proved to be the correct decision as Graham Ford (23) and Ziaf Kulasi (52) put on a solid 61 runs for the first partnership.
The dismissal of Ford, who fell to the bowling of Alex Packer, saw Jimmy Watson come to the crease and Worlington’s in-form batsman once again produced the goods.
He remained unbeaten during the overs that remained, scoring 102 runs from just 101 balls to help his team post a highly competitive score.
Estlea was also in good form, firing in a swift 57-ball knock of 66 runs before he was bowled by Freddie Heldreich.
In reply, Worlington made an early breakthrough when Ashan Athurkoralage claimed the wicket of Oliver Whiteman for 11 to leave Woolpit on 24-1.
After that Worlington snared wickets at regular intervals to end any realistic chance of the hosts being able to chase down their target.
Lee Thompson (3-16) and Nuwan Jayasena (3-32) did much of the damage with the ball for Worlington, while Kulsai took one wicket and run out, as did Watson.
It is now 12 straight wins for Worlington, who have not tasted defeat since their opening-day reverse at the hands of Maldon.
Next to try their luck against the leaders on Saturday is a Mistley side currently lingering just two points above the relegation zone (1pm).
The Essex-based side will make the trip to Worlington having picked up three victories so far this season.
Worlington’s Charlie Tunstall was in wicket-taking mood when the two sides met back in May, ending with figures of 5-13 as Mistley were bowled out for just 66 runs.
The visitors did not lose a wicket in their routine run chase, with big-hitting Kulasi scoring 54 runs off only 47 deliveries.