HUNTS COUNTY BATS SUFFOLK LEAGUE
Haverhill 229-6 beat Walsham-le-Willows 191 by 38 runs
An unbeaten century by Dave Humphrey helped Haverhill overcome Walsham while also making amends for a heavy defeat to Mildenhall last weekend.
With Walsham having two players drop out a couple of hours before the game started Haverhill were looking to take full advantage. Having won the toss Haverhill skipper Dan Pass decided to have a bat on what looked a batsmen friendly wicket.
Things didn’t start how Haverhill were expecting them to though, with Pass (1), Craig Williams (9) and Ant Phillips (5) all falling to the bowling of Ashley Forbes with the score not even on 20.
With Russ Davis and Dave Humphrey at the crease the plan was to rebuild and look to reach a par score of around 200.
Davis was the main aggressor in the partnership of 70, with Humphrey playing his usual solid role and making sure no more wickets fell. The partnership saw a flourish of boundaries and soon the run rate was increasing and the scoreboard kept on ticking over. Eventually though, Davis was adjudged lbw for (35) with the score on 96.
Humphrey kept on playing his natural game and soon notched up his second fifty in consecutive games, following on from his 98 against Mildenhall.
Alex Archer (22), Ben Wilkins (21) and Dean Sharpe (14no) all came in and played aggressive cameos to release pressure off the shoulders of Humphrey and enabled Haverhill to post a competitive total.
Having come agonisingly close to a century last game Humphrey made sure he didn’t miss out this week and smashed a four off of the last ball of the innings to finish unbeaten on 103 and give the Haverhill something to bowl at as they finished on 229-6 having looked at one stage to struggle to make 200.
With the game in the balance at the halfway stage Haverhill knew it would be crucial to make early inroads into the Walsham order in order to secure victory.
Sharpe (1-27) provided this having Waugh trapped lbw for (5). Saville (0-31) bowled with good discipline at the other end but was not able to find a wicket.
The introduction of Ben Shannon (2-41) into the bowling attack once again proved crucial as he picked up the wickets of Liam Bryant for (16) caught by Saville and then had Ben George stumped by Humphrey for (22).
Opener Steve Owston was still in however on a well crafted fifty and looked set to bat through the Walsham innings to try and get them near to the total.
He was joined by Forbes and the pair put on a stand of over 80 to frustrate the Haverhill bowlers and looked to be taking the game away from the hosts.
With the run rate ever increasing and the batsmen punishing any loose deliveries Pass turned to senior bowlers Wilkins (1-40) and Phillips (1-26) to try and find the breakthrough.
Wilkins was the provider to the crucial breakthrough, having Forbes caught off of his own bowling for a knock of 51.
With the Walsham score on 160-4 the game was heading to a tight finish. But tight bowling from Phillips saw him bowl James French for one and then Shannon provided some excellent fielding to see Baker run out for four.
The game was now back in the hands of Haverhill and Davis come on to seal the win, picking up figures of 2-1 and running through the lower order.
Walsham finished on 191, falling 38 runs short having looked set to take the game the final overs but the lower order collapse proved costly.
Opener Owston was left frustratingly not out on (87) knowing had he had some lower order support he could have seen his side home.
Overall a good win for Haverhill but far from convincing having nearly given 9-men Walsham a chance of victory.
Haverhill travel to Woolpit this Sunday.