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Max Dias secures thrilling last ball victory for Suffolk on his debut against Cambridgeshire




Suffolk debutant Max Dias scored a single off the final delivery to secure a thrilling one-wicket victory over Cambridgeshire in Sunday’s 50-over friendly, writes Nick Garnham.

Set 253 to win at Burwell & Exning CC, Suffolk started the last over requiring five runs, before two leg byes and two singles left one needed with two balls remaining.

Freddie Heldreich, who made a vital 22 runs, was dismissed off the penultimate ball, leaving Dias to face the final delivery, which he steered to third man to clinch victory.

Neil Dexter hits out during his innings of 86 for Suffolk against Cambridgeshire on Sunday Picture: Nick Garnham (41633666)
Neil Dexter hits out during his innings of 86 for Suffolk against Cambridgeshire on Sunday Picture: Nick Garnham (41633666)

It was a fitting finale to Suffolk’s vastly-reduced season due to the coronavirus pandemic, coming just seven days after they had defeated the same opponents in two Twenty20 encounters.

Cambridgeshire, batting first, got themselves into a strong position, reaching 190-1 with 8.3 overs remaining.

Josh Smith and David Clarke shared a splendid opening stand of 111, before Nikhil Gorantla (54 off 56 balls) and Smith set up what should have been a more commanding total.

Suffolk debutant Max Dias made a match-winning contributionPicture: Nick Garnham
Suffolk debutant Max Dias made a match-winning contributionPicture: Nick Garnham

Smith was fourth out for 103 with the total on 227 as Suffolk’s bowlers, who had earlier been too wayward, turned the screw as the visitors closed on 252-7.

Tom Rash returned impressive figures of 10-3-23-4 and Neil Dexter, who claimed two well-judged catches and caught a third off a no ball, took two wickets in successive deliveries.

Jack Beaumont (39 off 31 balls) and Adam Mansfield put on 42 for the first wicket in Suffolk’s reply, but they were both dismissed along with Jack Potticary as the home team slipped to 60-3.

Dexter and Ben Parker rebuilt the innings before Parker (27) was bowled playing a reverse sweep after the pair added 90 for the fourth wicket to put Suffolk seemingly on course for victory.

When Dexter (86 off 70 deliveries with eight fours and three sixes) miscued a pull and was caught, Suffolk were 193-7 with 13.3 overs still remaining.

The experienced Tom Rash (19), Freddie Heldreich and Ollie Bocking (14 not out) edged Suffolk towards victory, before 18-year-old Dias, whose seven overs had earlier cost 48 runs, had the final say.