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Division Two title contenders to battle it out at Manor Road

FIVE HALVES FROM NINE: Anthony Phillips has scored five half-centuries this season, from just nine attempts
FIVE HALVES FROM NINE: Anthony Phillips has scored five half-centuries this season, from just nine attempts

Haverhill may have returned to winning ways in Division Two of the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship, but the captain knows there’s still a long way to go.

The team (301-6) beat Sudbury II (260-8) by 41 runs away at Friars Street on Saturday, to maintain a championship lead at the halfway point of the cricket season and record an important victory having been beaten the week earlier.

Luke Youngs, the leading run scorer in the 2018 championship, top scored again with his fifth century for Haverhill, while opener Anthony Phillips was caught on 90.

But Adam Dellar has warned his side that the ‘real test’ arrives this weekend, as they host title-chasing Lakenheath on Saturday (1pm*) without either him, vice captain Phillips and Mark Barrell.

Dellar has called on the other leaders in the side to step forward, in his absence as well as Phillips.

“That’s part of why it’s such a big challenge,” he said.

“Lakenheath are a strong side and pose a threat to us on the pitch, they’re one of the teams in the fight for the Division Two title.

“It won’t be easy without me, Anthony and Mark but it’s a great opportunity for the others to step up and lead.

“We have a few leaders in the team but they don’t always show it.

“So I’m calling on them this weekend, we’re going to need those players to take on a bigger role.”

He said more of the same should suffice this Saturday, with four bowlers picking up wickets and significant knocks from two batsmen in their victory over Sudbury II the week earlier.

Haverhill batted first, with Dellar (16) returning to the top of the order and Phillips getting a good start, going on to score his fifth half-century (from nine fixtures).

He spent much of his innings paired with Youngs (113) who scored his second century of the season.

The third highest score was the extras column on 28 runs, followed by Dave Humphrey (24) and an unbeaten 21 from Dan Pass as the visitors clocked up 301-6.

In reply, the first five Sudbury batsmen had useful knocks over 30 runs, with 87 from opener William Shropshire, but a middle-order collapse ended their resistance with the remaining players picking up just six runs as they finished on 260-8.

Ben Wilkins (3-22) had the afternoon’s best bowling figures, followed by Harry Harding returning to form with two wickets and one each for Pass and Dellar.

* Due to England's World Cup quarter-final on Saturday, the league have reminded all clubs that the rules allow for a change in start time, provided both clubs and umpires agree. Haverhill are exploring alternative start times and will update their Twitter page.

l Meanwhile in Division Three, Haverhill II (100-1) beat Woolpit II (95) by nine wickets. And in Division Nine West, Haverhill III (113) beat Brockley II (114-1) by nine wickets.

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