Express & Star

Skipper’s knock wins it for Staffordshire

Staffordshire got their NCCA one-day campaign off to the best possible start with a 116-run victory at Suffolk.


Staffs skipper James Kettleborough won the toss and batted first at Mildenhall – but they got off to a sticky start after being 21-1 after seven overs of their innings.

But in stepped the captain himself who blazed 100 off 108 balls with just four boundaries. He was excellently supported by Mike Hill with an 84-ball 82 including eight boundaries, four of which were sixes.

Zen Malik also made 63, fresh off the back scoring a century in both innings for Glamorgan last week in a second XI fixture against Warwickshire at Portland Road.

Staffs ended up on 286-3 from their allocation of overs.

In reply, Suffolk struggled to get going and they slipped from 88 -2 to 155-8 thanks to some tight bowling.

Nils Priestly, bowling his slow left-arm spin, did the bulk of the damage for the visitors taking an exceptional 6-37 helping Staffs to the two points.

They are next in action at Smethwick when they welcome Norfolk on June, 2.

n A dogged 152 from Jack Leaning gave Kent a fighting chance of saving their Vitality County Championship match with Worcestershire at Canterbury, steering them to 362 for eight at stumps.

The hosts still trail by 256 after an attritional third day, but Jack Leaning batted through all three sessions and Beyers Swanepoel made 54 on his debut to boost their hopes of grinding out a draw on day four.

Matthew Waite took three for 51 but on a wicket that offered little joy for the bowlers, Worcestershire took just six wickets during a sapping day in the field.

Kent began day three on 111 for two and were untroubled for the first half hour. Leaning reached 50 for the first time in 11 first-class innings when he cut Smith through backward point for two, but Waite then produced a twin jab that briefly left them reeling. He bowled Daniel Bell-Drummond for 67, clipping his off stump with a straight one, then had Joe Denly lbw after just four balls.

Leaning and Harry Finch steadied the ship, steering Kent to 179 for four at lunch, but after surviving for 106 balls Finch tried to drive Waite and was caught at cover by Rob Jones.

That, however, was the visitors only success during the afternoon session.

n County champions Surrey are on the cusp of a third successive Division One victory, with Kemar Roach taking a superlative six for 46 to reduce Warwickshire to 209 all out in their second innings after a brilliant 155 from Jamie Smith had guided them to a 121-run halfway lead.

Surrey need just another 58 runs to complete an impressive Vitality County Championship win at the Kia Oval, openers Rory Burns and Dom Sibley taking them to 31 without loss at stumps as they chase an 89-run target.

Smith, who began day three on 98, was joined by Sean Abbott in a superb ninth wicket stand of 115 in little more than 18 overs, a county record against Warwickshire, hauling Surrey up to 464 all out from their overnight 327 for six in reply to Warwickshire’s first innings 343.

Roach, finding conventional and reverse swing with both new and older ball, took three of the first four wickets to fall before returning later to grab three more scalps in a wonderful exhibition of controlled fast-medium bowling.

Warwickshire’s hopes of fighting back to set Surrey a challenging fourth innings target were earlier further dashed when Abbott pulled off a stunning caught and bowled, low down from a fierce drive, to dismiss first innings centurion Ed Barnard for 44.