Mildenhall's Sharma and Hussain put Burwell & Exning in a spin
PUBLISHED: 15:16 17 June 2019 | UPDATED: 15:16 17 June 2019
MILDENHALL's resurgence continued with a fourth win from their last five matches, in the Read Brothers East Anglian Premier League, at the expense of local rivals Burwell & Exning on Saturday.
The Suffolk hosts recovered from the precarious position of 27 for three, to post a total of 225 for nine, off 64 overs.
And that proved well beyond Burwell, who slipped from a promising 46 for no wicket to lose all 10 wickets for the addition of just 82 runs, spinners Ankit Sharma and Murtaza Hussain doing the main damage as the visitors were eventually bowled out for 128, off 60.4 overs.
"First of all, full credit to our ground-staff for getting the game on, after all the recent rain," explained Mildenhall captain Tom Rash, who was to play a key role with bat and ball.
"It was a big plus to even get the match on, but actually it was a really good pitch and it was a toss-up to know whether to bat or bowl.
"True to form, I lost the toss and we were asked to bat."
An 87-run partnership for the fourth wicket, between Rash and Matt Allen, proved the biggest of the day and it certainly went some way towards getting Mildenhall on top.
Rash made 49 off 65 balls, with a six and seven fours, and Allen compiled 51 off 91 balls, while late-order contributions from Sharma (35) and Joe Allen (34 not out) boosted the final total to 225.
"It was difficult batting early on," confirmed Rash.
"The ball nipped around a bit, off the seam, which was why their opening pair of Andrew Bramley (four for 29) and Sam Rippington (three for 70) got the lion's share of the wickets.
"Matt Allen was promoted up the order, to negate the seam threat, and that worked well. We had to did in and it was quite tough for a while, but we saw it through to a good score with some late hitting from Joe Allen and Ankit (Sharma).
"We were pretty confident at the end of our innings, and although they got a solid start, we managed to tie them up.
"They didn't take any risks, and in the end we were able to build up the pressure as the run-rate kept climbing."
Rash himself returned eye-catching figures of 10-4-11-1, breaking a stubborn opening stand by bowling Chris Summerskill (23) with the total on 46.
That soon became 50 for three, while it was spinner Sharma who took the important wicket of the dangerous Tom Jagot (44) to prompt Burwell's slide to defeat.
Indian spinner Sharma went on to take five for 48 off 18 overs, well-supported by fellow spinner Hussain (18-9-22-2), and also Tristan Blackledge (two for 20).
"Ankit Sharma and Murtaza Hussain are both unbelievable bowlers, probably the best two spinners in the league," said Rash.
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"They basically tore through their line-up, with their contrasting styles. There was no respite for the batsmen, with them turning the ball different ways.
"Another factor was that we managed to bowl our overs very quickly, so much so that there were still 15 minutes of play available when we bowled them out."
Mildenhall are now looking forward to a tough challenge this weekend, away at unbeaten Frinton-on-Sea.
The Wamil Way club have beaten Copdock & Old Ipswichian, Cambridge, Great Witchingham and now Burwell & Exning in the last five weeks, in addition to the abandoned match with Vauxhall Mallards, to rise from bottom spot to fifth in the table.
But they will find it a very tough test at Ashlyns Road, against a frustrated Frinton side.
The eagerly-awaited clash between BURY ST EDMUNDS and second-placed FRINTON-ON-SEA was abandoned without a ball being bowled on Saturday.
The Victory Ground was waterlogged after all the rain during the week, and the match was cancelled a day early following an umpire's inspection on Friday afternoon, when it was decided that there were would be no prospects of any play.
It was frustrating for both sides - the fixture was the only one in the EAPL to be cancelled over the weekend - particularly for Frinton, who would have gone top with a win.
Unbeaten in the league this season, Frinton remain in second spot, 12 points adrift of front-runners Swardeston.
Defending champions, SUDBURY, enjoyed the better of a drawn match against leaders Swardeston at The Common.
Put into bat, by Swardeston skipper Joe Gatting, Sudbury responded by making an excellent 323 for eight off 63 overs.
Skipper Adam Mansfield (52) and Darren Batch (46) put on 79 for the second wicket, but the Suffolk visitors then subsided to 154 for six.
However, Henry Shipley (89) and Ben Reece (72 not out) stopped the rot with a fine partnership of 129 for the seventh wicket. Shipley plundered four sixes and eight fours in his 97-ball stay, while an in-form Reece struck a couple of sixes and five fours.
Opener Jordan Taylor made 57, and namesake Callum Taylor was 63 not out, as Swardeston were restricted to 191 for seven off 55 overs, hanging on for the draw.
COPDOCK & OLD IPSWICHIAN suffered a disappointing three-wicket defeat at home to Great Witchingham.
Copdock nose-dived from 24 for 0 to 25 for four, although an 85-run stand for the sixth wicket between all-rounder Jack Beaumont (72) and youngster Donald Mlambo (39) gave the hosts some hope, as did a late 30-run partnership for the ninth wicket between Beaumont and Matt Hunn (23no).
Set 194 for victory, off 57 overs, Gt Witchingham reached their target with two overs in hand, helped by 69 from experienced opener Sam Arthurton. He put on 79 for the third wicket with Ben Briggs (42) to take the score to 140.
Jason Pembroke bowled superbly, taking five for 49 off 16 overs, but in the end Copdock's 193 for nine proved too small to successfully defend.