Batch steps up to the mark for leaders
Sudbury’s gap at the top of the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League table was reduced to 40 points on Saturday when they could only manage a draw with near rivals Frinton-on-sea (226-7).
Sudbury (207-8) won the toss after a delayed start and decided to field first, despite missing Dustin Melton from their bowling attack due to a shoulder injury.
Darren Batch joined James Poulson in opening the Sudbury attack and Batch struck first by having Michael Griggs caught at point for just 12.
Tim Johnston (2-81) then trapped Frinton skipper Kyran Young lbw for 18 to reduce the home side to 62-2.
A partnership of 92 helped Frinton grab a stronghold in the game before Ben Reece removed dangerman Jaik Mickleburgh for a well-played 77.
As the seasiders aimed for quick runs towards the end of their innings they lost further wickets, with Batch the main beneficiary finishing with 4-47 from 12 overs.
Some late striking by Michael Comber meant that Frinton finished on 226-7 from their allotted 46 overs.
Sudbury had just 40 overs to chase down their target and suffered an early blow when Tom Huggins was bowled for 12.
Batch suffered a blow to the hand that resulted in him retiring hurt on the stroke of tea.
After the break, Adam Mansfield and new boy Martyn Cull added 81 before Mansfield was caught at mid-on for 41.
Cull (57) completed his maiden EAPL half-century for the Talbots but when he and Ben Parker (9) fell in quick succession, Sudbury dropped behind the run rate.
Regular wickets then fell with Kenny Moulton-Day (43 not out) the only batsman to remain throughout and maintain the momentum of the innings.
Once Batch re-entered the field it was only to ensure the game was not lost and, alongside Moulton-Day, the pair ensured Sudbury reached the safety of a draw.
Sudbury travel to the Norfolk county ground of Manor Park on Saturday to take on Horsford CC (11am), who sit ninth in the EAPL table.
Sudbury lost the reverse fixture back in the middle of May by a hefty margin of 169 runs.
* Ben Hyett claimed a five-for as Sudbury II (251-9) recorded a 27-run victory over Braintree (224) on Saturday.
Steven Witham top-scored with the bat for Sudbury as they set a target that proved to beyond the visitors, who found Hyett (5-67) in good form with the ball.
Next up for the seconds in Division Two of the Two Counties on Saturday is a home encounter against Lakenheath (1pm).