Suffolk set up Cumbria quarter final in NCCA Trophy following last-gasp win against Hertfordshire at Sudbury Cricket Club
Suffolk will travel to Cumbria in the quarter-finals of this season’s NCCA Trophy following a dramatic one-run victory in their final group game.
The county’s first-ever competitive fixture to be played at Sudbury CC on Sunday saw Suffolk snatch victory over Hertfordshire in a dramatic finale.
After the start at Friars Street was delayed by 45 minutes due to rain, Suffolk were put into bat and had reached 108-4 off 26.4 overs when the heavens opened.
Play resumed after a break lasting two hours and 40 minutes while the outfield dried out, with Suffolk’s innings reduced to 36 overs.
Ben Shepperson struck 52 off 24 balls with three fours and four sixes and added 75 for the fifth wicket with Woolpit's debut-making Andy Northcote (head coach), whose 48 came off 46 balls.
That enabled Suffolk to post 204-6, with Hertfordshire then set a revised target of 218 from the same number of overs under the Duckworth Lewis-Stern method.
The outcome was further complicated by the fact that if Hertfordshire achieved victory inside 28 or 29 overs – no-one seemed to know for sure after trying to calculate the two teams’ respective net run-rates – they would go through.
With Dom Chatfield (38 off 40), Harry Ellison (44 off 30) and Andrew Neal (36 off 25) getting stuck into the Suffolk attack, the visitors were always ahead of their target, so Suffolk’s only realistic chance of success was to bowl them out.
Suffolk kept chipping away, with spinners Jack Beaumont and Darren Ironside both taking wickets in their first overs, but when Tom Rash was taken for 18 off the 28th over of the innings, Hertfordshire required just five with two wickets remaining.
Sudbury club captain Darren Batch was thrown the ball and conceded just three runs while dismissing 16-year-old wicket-keeper Cole Seggery off his final delivery.
Skipper Beaumont then bowled Abhishek Kulkarni for 33 off 26 deliveries off the second ball of the next over to finish with figures of 4-31 as Suffolk secured a one-run victory.
That secured runners-up spot behind Group 3 winners Cambridgeshire and means Suffolk will now be away to Cumbria in the last eight on Sunday, July 18.