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Darren Batch plays key role as Suffolk beat Norfolk by 17 runs at Horsford to keep NCCA Trophy progression alive




Darren Batch starred with bat and ball as Suffolk (211-8) defeated Norfolk (194) by 17 runs to stay on course to qualify for the quarter-finals of this season’s NCCA Trophy.

Batch scored an unbeaten 64 off 49 balls and then took two wickets, including the prize scalp of opener Sam Arthurton, who top-scored with 55 for the hosts.

The Sudbury all-rounder’s efforts enabled Suffolk to secure a hard-fought victory in yesterday's match at Manor Park, and so head into their final Group 3 fixture with their destiny in their own hands.

Darren Batch hits out for Suffolk during his innings of 64 not out versus Norfolk at Manor Park Picture: Nick Garnham
Darren Batch hits out for Suffolk during his innings of 64 not out versus Norfolk at Manor Park Picture: Nick Garnham

After an hour-and-a-half delay due to some wet patches on the outfield, Suffolk lost the toss and were put into bat in a match reduced to 47 overs-a-side.

They made a dreadful start, losing four wickets for 29 runs inside the opening seven overs, with some poor shot selection contributing to their own downfall.

Suffolk professional Joe Gatting, who plays his club cricket for Norfolk side Swardeston, was joined by Ben Shepperson in a fifth-wicket partnership of 73 spanning 24 overs.

Suffolk captain Jack Beaumont was left celebrating another victory in a match which saw him take three wickets Picture: Mark Westley
Suffolk captain Jack Beaumont was left celebrating another victory in a match which saw him take three wickets Picture: Mark Westley

Both were out stumped, Shepperson for 31 and Gatting for 54 off 99 deliveries, before Batch guided the visitors to 211-8, striking three 6s and three 4s.

Together with Darren Ironside, whose 22 came off 18 balls, Batch added 55 in 6.2 overs to give the innings real impetus in the closing stages.

Norfolk’s openers put on 49 before Shepperson produced a direct hit with an under arm throw to run out Tom New off the last ball of the 15th over.

Suffolk’s bowlers held their nerve as Tom Rash claimed 3-24 and skipper Jack Beaumont 3-41, while Batch weighed in with 2-38.

Tom Rash, pictured in action against Lincolnshire, ended Sunday's clash with Norfolk at Horsford with figures of 3-24 Picture: Mark Westley
Tom Rash, pictured in action against Lincolnshire, ended Sunday's clash with Norfolk at Horsford with figures of 3-24 Picture: Mark Westley

As the run-rate escalated Steve Marillier kept Norfolk’s hopes alive with some lusty blows, which included three sixes in his 39 off 54 deliveries, before he was safely held on the wide long on boundary by Josh Cantrell.

Ironside’s return throw to Adam Mansfield saw Andy Hanby run out off the last ball of the innings as Norfolk were dismissed for 194.

Suffolk’s final group game is against Hertfordshire at Sudbury CC on Sunday, when a win will guarantee their place in the knock-out stages.

Essex II will host Suffolk in a 50-over friendly at Chelmsford the following day.

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