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EAPL round-up: Sudbury, Sawston & Babraham and Swardeston keep winning starts intact while Mildenhall triumph in derby with Burwell & Exning




Sudbury made it three wins from three in the Read Brothers East Anglian Premier League South Group with a 43-run victory over Saffron Walden in front of another very healthy crowd at Friars Street on Saturday.

Skipper Adam Mansfield won the toss and had little hesitation in opting to bat after the previous Saturday’s run-fest against local rivals Bury St Edmunds.

And although the visitors started well with the ball, opening batsman Keelan Waldock played calmly for 35 to help set the platform for the innings.

SUDBURY: Cricket - Sudbury v Saffron Walden.Sudbury & District Cricket Club, Friars St, Sudbury Keelan Waldock Sudbury batsman. Picture by Mark Westley. (40167440)
SUDBURY: Cricket - Sudbury v Saffron Walden.Sudbury & District Cricket Club, Friars St, Sudbury Keelan Waldock Sudbury batsman. Picture by Mark Westley. (40167440)

Once Waldock fell with the score on 92-3 a 50 partnership between the in-form Ben Parker (44) and Ryan Vickery, top scoring with 53, built momentum for the home side.

Alex Sears bowled the last nine overs from one end for Saffron Walden and was rewarded for his efforts with five wickets for 60 runs.

Despite Sears striking throughout his spell, useful contributions right the way down the order helped to add a further 80 runs after the loss of the fifth wicket and the home side ended on a competitive 247-9 from 50 overs.

Darren Batch batting for Sudbury against Saffron WaldenPicture: Mark Westley
Darren Batch batting for Sudbury against Saffron WaldenPicture: Mark Westley

James Poulson and Darren Batch have formed an excellent new ball pairing since lockdown and started impressively once again.

Batch struck early to dismiss Walden opener Harry Gallian before the returning Billy Moulton-Day induced an edge from Andy Laws in his first over and wicketkeeper Mansfield took an excellent full length catch to his right, leaving the visitors in trouble at 25-2.

Nikhil Gorantla (42) and Alex Sears (35) appeared to be gaining a foothold in the chase but Batch was brought back in to the attack to get a wicket and did exactly that, removing both set batsmen in the same over.

When Ryan Vickery bowled Finn Karsten shortly afterwards the score was 112-5 and Sudbury were firmly back on top.

Darren Batch, batting for Sudbury, scrambles to safety against Saffron WaldenPicture: Mark Westley
Darren Batch, batting for Sudbury, scrambles to safety against Saffron WaldenPicture: Mark Westley

The dangerous Walden skipper Ben Harris struck 23 from 17 balls alongside Jack Sneath (56) before hitting Batch, who finished with 4-31, to Moulton-Day at extra cover.

Sudbury saw out the game in a professional manner from this point, with tight bowling, some very good catching, and two run-outs.

The Talbots will be delighted to set and defend a score having chased so well last week, and look forward to hosting Copdock & Old Ipswichian on Saturday as tied leaders at the top alongside new boys Sawston & Babraham.

Alex Cruickshank bowling for Mildenhall to Burwell & Exning's Tom GriffithsPicture: Mark Westley
Alex Cruickshank bowling for Mildenhall to Burwell & Exning's Tom GriffithsPicture: Mark Westley

Sudbury's Suffolk Cup side made it two from two on Sunday, chasing Hadleigh’s total of 159 in the last over. They are hoping to seal qualification for finals day when they host Woolpit on Wednesday (5.30pm).

Sawston & Babraham (203) beat Bury St Edmunds (171) by 32 runs in their first ever EAPL home match at Spicers Sports Ground.

Sawston & Babraham's Dan Heath stumps Alex Oxley. Picture: Nick Garham (39860691)
Sawston & Babraham's Dan Heath stumps Alex Oxley. Picture: Nick Garham (39860691)

In their first ever EAPL home match at Spicers Sports Ground Dan Heath's side were pleased to win the toss and bat on another fantastic day of baking hot sunshine.

They were also buoyed by a decent crowd, boosted by many of the club’s 2nds and 3rds having a watch before playing their own games.

The home side set off at a canter on a deck that seemed to offer good pace and carry and some lively early bounce.

Last week’s centurion Waqas Hussain (28) was just going through the gears when he was deceived by a slower ball, dismissing him with the score on 49 just before the end of the sixth over.

Michael Cafferkey (45) backed up his score of last week as he joined James Vandepeer (27) before the latter fell with the score on 69 as the runs continued at a pace.

Callum Guest joined Cafferkey and SBCC, having survived Ali Allchin’s initial impressive burst, looked well set at 126-2 in the 21st over.

However, the wheels came off and they suddenly found themselves at a perilous 144-6.

Tim Moses (20) and skipper Dan Heath (30) managed to get the score beyond 200, as Allchin returned to help himself to 4-36.

Bury all-rounder Justin Broad had earlier sparked the batting collapse with 2-19 from seven excellent overs.

At the break 208 seemed a few short of par on a decent track and lightning outfield.

Although they lost their own early season centurion Broad, dismissed by Moses, Bury too raced along to 71-1 at better than a run a ball as wicketkeeper opening batter Alfie Marston (65) and Chris Benjamin (35) went well.

After the loss of Benjamin, with Tommy Hams picking up his first wicket for the club, they were able to starve Marston of strike to dry up the score rate.

They also started chipping away by taking regular wickets with spin twins Guest (3-32) and George Darlow (3-31) returning almost identical figures from their 10-over allocations.

The loss of Marston signalled a collapse from 133-3 to 171 all out as Moses picked up his second wicket (2-42) before Cafferkey picked up the final Bury wicket for a 32-run victory.

It leaves SBCC remaining joint top with South Group favourites Sudbury, while Bury St Edmunds stay third.

In the group's other match, Copdock & Old Ipswichian (259-8) got their first win of the campaign on the board by beating 2019 champions Frinton-on-Sea (255) by two wickets at their Old London Road base, leaving the visitors surprisingly still winless.

Former Woolpit and Bury St Edmunds player and Culford School student Alex Oxley starred with the bat for Copdock with 85 alongside Hundon-based Suffolk white ball captain Jack Beaumont (53).

In the North Group, Mildenhall (199) beat Burwell & Exning (158) by 41 runs over at Exning Park to finish the day in second place in the table.

Mildenhall captain Ollie Lovejoy starred, hitting a half century (54) and then taking 5-20 while the hosts' Tim Catley top scored in the reply with 52.

Burwell & Exning, who took six points from the match, remain bottom still looking for their first victory.

Elsewhere, Swardeston (266-5, L Denmark58no, J Gatting 58 ) made it three wins from three with a five-wicket home victory over fellow Norfolk side Horsford (262) and Great Witchingham (147-7) beat Cambridge (146) by three wickets.