Semi-finals beckon for unstoppable Haverhill Knights in the T20 Suffolk Cup

GOOD KNOCKS: Josh Ruthven was not out on 23 as the team set a promising 218-4 total for Walsham to chase
GOOD KNOCKS: Josh Ruthven was not out on 23 as the team set a promising 218-4 total for Walsham to chase

Haverhill Cricket Club’s T20 team have secured their place in the semi-finals of the Suffolk Cup, following victory over Walsham-le-Willows on Bank Holiday Monday.

Club captain Adam Dellar, who scored a maximum half-century, reacted to the 34-run win with delight.

He said it was a boost for the whole club. “It’s so brilliant,” the first team regular added. “There’s no pressure or expectation for us really.

“We’ve already done so well to get out of the group and it’s all a new experience. I’d never played Walsham before and I doubt anyone else had either, so it’s been good for our knowledge as well as a challenge.

“With half the team playing in the 1st XI, it will help give us a boost for Saturday too.”

Walsham-le-Willows (184-8) lost to Haverhill (218-4) in the quarter-finals of the T20 Suffolk Cup by 34 runs.

The visitors won the toss at the Walsham-le-Willows Sports Club and elected to bat first.

Dan Pass (10) gave the side an early scare as he departed with the team on 24-1, but an unbeaten 50 from opener Adam Dellar brought the Knights back on track.

Dellar, due to a rule in the competition, was forced to retire once he had reached his half-century.

But further knocks of 43 by number three Anthony Phillips, 44 by Haverhill and District Midweek Cricket League’s Tom Bonham and an unbeaten 23 by Josh Ruthven kept the momentum moving for Haverhill.

David Humphrey (8) and Mark Barrell (15 not out) added further runs to take Haverhill to 193.

But they were helped even more by an extras column that reached 25 and a 15-run penalty — for the home team for not fielding enough youngsters.

The rules state that each T20 side must field at least three under-18s but Walsham failed to do so, with only one U18 player, helping Haverhill Knights to a total of 218-4 in their 20 allotted overs.

Walsham-le-Willows, in reply, finished 34 runs short of the Knights as they reached 184-8.

Harry Harding continued his great form for Haverhill, having taken a six-wicket haul for the First XI on Saturday, as he took two Walsham wickets for 24 runs while team mate Marcus Richards took two for only 19 runs.

They will face Copdock & Old Ipswichian Cricket Club in the semi-final on Saturday, September 10 (10.30am) at Mildenhall Cricket Club.