TUCKER GARDNER LEAGUE: Huntingdon & District skipper salutes his swing king after derby success against St Ives

The Huntingdon & District team are, back row, left to right, Gary Mills, Craig Leigh, Charlie Nelson

The Huntingdon & District team are, back row, left to right, Gary Mills, Craig Leigh, Charlie Nelson, Hashir Hussain, Sheraz Ali, Andrew Wright, front row, Rob Nelson, Muktesh Pandya, Faisal Javed, Martin Burton and Dario Cummins. Picture: HELEN DRAKE - Credit: Archant

Huntingdon & District captain Martin Burton hailed his answer to England ace James Anderson in the wake of a derby success against top-of-the-table St Ives last Saturday.

The St Ives team beaten by Huntingdon & District are, back row, left to right, Steven Smith, Shaun A

The St Ives team beaten by Huntingdon & District are, back row, left to right, Steven Smith, Shaun Asplin, Faisal Khaliq, Nikhil Kumpukkal, Umair Tariq, Michael Speed, front row, Tom McCarthy, Ryan Withers, Jack Haycock, Murray Reid and Kevin Sequenza. Picture: HELEN DRAKE - Credit: Archant

Quick bowler Gary Mills starred with 5-24 as the leaders were skittled for just 52 to fall to a 34-run defeat in a low-scoring Tucker Gardner League Division Two clash at St Peters Road.

Huntingdon & District had only managed to amass 86 themselves but that still proved to be enough to extend their unbeaten run to four games in demanding batting conditions.

Skipper Burton said: “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a ball moving around in the air and off the deck as much as it was doing last Saturday.

“I felt a hundred would have been a cracking score and even though we had to settle for 86, I was confident it would be competitive.

“It was a case of needing to get among the wickets early on and we did just that to have St Ives in big trouble at 7-3.

“We kept the pressure up thanks to some brilliant bowling from Gary in particular. He is our version of James Anderson as he can turn the ball round corners, and the conditions suited him perfectly.

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“He was very well backed up, the catching and fielding were brilliant as well, and everything came together just when we needed it to happen.

“We’ve now beaten the top two teams in the table despite still not being at our best.

“We’re up to fourth position and unbeaten in four games so the challenge is to keep that run going.”

Only four batsman made it into double-figures throughout an afternoon where runs were fiendishly difficult to score.

St Ives man Tom McCarthy had the dubious honour of being the game’s top-scorer with just 19, but he eventually became the penultimate player to fall as Huntingdon & District’s overseas ace Dario Cummins wrapped up victory with two wickets from his first two balls.

Sixteen year-old Sheraz Ali (18), Craig Leigh (12) and Andrew Wright (12) were the biggest batting contributors for Huntingdon & District, while Shaun Asplin and Faisal Khaliq both bagged three wickets for a St Ives side who remain top of the table despite suffering their first reverse since the opening day of the season.

St Ives skipper Ryan Withers said: “We didn’t bat well on a damp wicket, but other results went our way. Six wins from eight games is still a good start to the season.”

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