CRICKET: Strength in depth proves key for Sutton

Long Sutton 2nd v Claypole at Paradise ground.'Back - Andy Wright, Jimmy Harrison, Alex Canham, Danny Sisson, Rob Simpson, Jordan Keeble, front - Stefan Fox, James Bacon, Gary Burton capt, Lewsi Senior, Ian Morris and mascot Josh Baker'Photo:  SG220613-TW www.spaldingtoday.co.uk/buyaphoto
Long Sutton 2nd v Claypole at Paradise ground.'Back - Andy Wright, Jimmy Harrison, Alex Canham, Danny Sisson, Rob Simpson, Jordan Keeble, front - Stefan Fox, James Bacon, Gary Burton capt, Lewsi Senior, Ian Morris and mascot Josh Baker'Photo: SG220613-TW www.spaldingtoday.co.uk/buyaphoto
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Thomas Cook (164-8) lost to Long Sutton (168-7) by 3 wickets: Depleted Sutton reaffirmed their South Lincs and Border League Division One title credentials with an impressive away win that stretched their advantage at the summit.

With second-placed Baston suffering a loss against Friskney, Sutton are now a healthy 33 points ahead of the rest after 11 games.

Winning the toss, Sutton elected to bowl and, in the 
absence of Paul Edgeller – one of four key men missing – Jimmy Wright was given the new ball alongside Barry Stanway.

Wright started strongly, picking up two early wickets, but a partnership developed between Saravanan Narayanan (35) and Swapnil Gadikari (14) and neither Sutton opener could break it.

Ian Morris (2-16) was then introduced and he bowled economically in strangling the Thomas Cook innings.

Sutton were also assisted by some interesting running between the wickets as two run outs also occurred, both attributed to captain Matt Bull.

The returning Jimmy Wright (4-56) picked up two further wickets as Sutton restricted their visitors to 164-8, which seemed to be a little under par.

Sajit Janardhanan (34 not out) was the leading Thomas Cook run scorer.

In reply, Sutton lost John Sullivan (7) and Steve Skoulding (13) in the first 12 overs as they looked to set themselves for the chase.

However, an attacking stand of 52 between Adam Wright (52) and Saturday debutant Mark Woodall (22) made the target look easily gettable.

Both were dismissed in quick succession though, bringing skipper and vice captain Jimmy Wright together as they looked to complete the job.

A second 50 partnership between the duo moved Sutton to within ten runs of their target, but a cluster of three wickets saw Jimmy Wright (26), Rav Sangha (0) and Barry Stanway (3) all knocked over.

That made for a nervy finish, as it was left to the skipper Bull (21 not out) and Jake Burton (4 not out) to see their side home by three wickets.

All eyes now turn to Saturday’s top-of-the-table clash between Baston and Sutton at The Shrine (1.30pm).

Another away success would leave Sutton’s championship hopes in an even stronger position.

• Sutton’s 2nd team remain top of Division Two despite a nervy one-wicket defeat to second-placed Cavaliers on Saturday.

Only Ben Shore (60) and Jack Keeble (17) made any kind of score for Sutton as they managed only 101 batting first at Woodlands. James Baker (5-26), skipper Gary Burton (3-37) and Jordan Keeble (1-22) all struck to set up a grandstand finish, but Cavaliers stood firm to cut the gap at the top to 14 points.

Sutton host Freiston on Saturday (1.30pm).