Hadleigh 251-7 beat
by three wickets
Haverhill Cricket Club began their 2017 Two Counties campaign with a three-wicket defeat away at Hadleigh on Saturday.
The visitors won the toss and elected to bat first on a decent looking batting track in their season opener at Friars Road.
Haverhill openers Josh Ruthven and Anthony Phillips started well, playing with control and confidence, seeing off the new-ball bowlers for Hadleigh.
Phillips made 52 in a great knock before being bowled by Hadleigh’s Kyle Tanner, with the score at 115 and 29 overs bowled by the home side.
Fellow opener Ruthven was also in good form, hitting his way to 68 runs, which included nine fours and one maximum, before he too was bowled by Hadleigh’s Tom Piddington, while looking to push the score on.
With the score at 131-2, new batsmen Chris Palmer and skipper Adam Dellar continued to keep the pressure on the home side’s bowlers.
Their partnership made 86 runs, with both batsmen looking effortless in their scoring, before Palmer was next to fall having made 52, being caught behind by Hadleigh wicket-keeper Callum Morrin off the bowling of Tanner.
With the score at 218-3 off 47 overs, Jamie Boulton joined his captain at the crease and the pair blazed a quick-fire 32 runs before the innings came to a close on 250-3 off the 50 overs, with Dellar not out on 43 and Boulton not out on 21.
Hadleigh’s response to the visitors’ good innings saw their openers get off to a rapid start, with Marlon Diaz and his new opening partner, —overseas batsman Brock Price — making 91 off 15 overs.
Dellar introduced spinner Callum Brunning (1-61), who removed Diaz for 49 with a well held catch from the Haverhill skipper.
Young first-team debutant Harry Harding’s off-spin was introduced and he bowled with maturity beyond his years on his first start.
Along with Palmer’s offspin at the other end, the pair becalmed the free-scoring Price, with Palmer eventually removing him for 79, with a solid catch from Ruthven.
Hadleigh were now 146-2 off 28 overs and needed to push on the scoring, but the spin twins of Harding (0-32) and Palmer (4-32) brought the visitors back into the game, with the latter claiming a further three wickets before the end of his spell.
At 40 overs Hadleigh were 184-5 and the game looked to be going to the wire.
However, the partnership of Piddington (42) and Ben Wallis (23no) was to be decisive for the home side, as Hadleigh surpassed Haverhill’s total of 250 runs in the last 10 overs, beating the visitors’ score with just seven balls to spare.