Essex’s Jaik makes the most of his Horsford break

Jaik Mickelburgh scored 146 not out against Cambridge Granta at Manor Park. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Jaik Mickelburgh scored 146 not out against Cambridge Granta at Manor Park. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: Archant Norfolk

Essex star Jaik Mickelburgh marked his first appearance of the season in the East Anglian Premier League – with a big century for Horsford against fellow high-flyers Cambridge Grants at Manor Park.

The Norwich-born 23-year-old made the most of a break from first class duty to crack six sixes and eleven fours in his 146 off 182 balls.

He shared in a third-wicket partnership of 59 with Stephan Marillier (41) and really let loose during a fourth wicket stand of 145 with Luke Caswell (51) as Horsford finished on 312 for five in 66 overs.

The target always looked beyond second-in-the-table Granta, who slumped to 99-5 against some tight bowling, especially the spin of Horsford skipper Chris Brown, whose 13 overs yielded just 16 runs for two wickets. However, Douglas Rice (60) steered Granta to safety on 167-6, with some dogged help from skipper Sean Park, who faced 61 balls for his six.

Mickelburgh was one of two young Norfolk batsmen to make hay on Saturday. Over at Great Witchingham, another of Norfolk's rising Essex stars, Sam Arthurton, hit 140 off 167 balls, with two sixes and 13 fours, as the home team made 289 batting first against Bury in another drawn game. In his case the main support came from Carl Rogers, who made 47 in a third-wicket partnership of 105.

Arthurton, who is missing from Norfolk's three-day Minor Counties match at Wisbech because of Essex 2nds commitments, now has, like Mickelburgh, four EAPL centuries to his name. But he eventually became one of five victims of visiting paceman Tom Rowbotham (5-47).

Bottom of the table Bury looked capable of chasing down their target when captain Tom Huggins (73) and Justin Bishop (63) put on 106 for the first wicket. After Rogers had made the breakthrough Will Dunger ripped out the heart of the Bury innings with four for 44 to give the Witches hopes of securing that elusive first win of the season. Instead they had to settle for their seventh draw in eight games as Bury hung on to finish on 185-6.

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Swardeston made the most of the draw between Granta and Horsford by beating third-placed Saffron Walden by seven wickets to open a gaping 30-point lead at the head of the table.

The home team's innings was a long tale of batsmen getting themselve established before getting out with Swardeston's opening bowlers Michael Eccles (3-37) and Sam Thelwell (3-43) sharing six wickets while Jonathan Sole took two for 17 from his eight overs to help dismiss the visitors for 182. That target proved straightforward for Swardeston. Opener Jordan Taylor steered them all the way to victory in 45.5 overs, finishing on 79 not out from 143 balls with one six and 11 fours.

Having put on 43 for the opening wicket with Peter Lambert (22 off 26 balls) Taylor was joined by Stephen Gray (43) for a second wicket partnership of 94 before Sole (14 off 11) and Callum Taylor (21 not out off 16) swept Swardeston over the line.

Matt Platter (70) top-scored for Vauxhall Mallards in their draw at Burwell, Rahul Dewan (45) and Richard Goodenough (39) providing the main support as they made 279-9.

In reply Burwell lost their first five wickets for 87 before Paul Summerskill (48 not out) amd Daniel Jones (45) steered them to safety on 216-7.

The day's other century-maker was Adam Mansfield, whose unbeaten 124 steered Sudbury to a five-wickets win at Clacton.