Poulson back to bolster Suffolk’s ranks ahead of derby encounter

LEADING THE WAY: The Suffolk side pose for the camera ahead of their opening match against Buckinghamshire, played at Bury St Edmunds CC
LEADING THE WAY: The Suffolk side pose for the camera ahead of their opening match against Buckinghamshire, played at Bury St Edmunds CC

Former King Edward VI School pupil James Poulson will return to the Suffolk side for their Unicorns Championship match against rivals Norfolk, starting on Sunday.

The all-rounder missed Suffolk’s drawn match versus Hertfordshire at Copdock as he was helping Cambridge University to a crushing 216-run victory over Oxford University in the Varsity match.

He scored 16 not out and then claimed three for 30, including taking the wickets of Oxford’s top two run-scorers in their first innings.

Poulson was five not out in Cambridge’s second innings when the declaration came and, although he did not take a wicket, bowled nine tight overs for just 22 runs.

He is included in a 12-man squad that also features former Essex bowler Merv Westfield, who played for Suffolk in last season’s Unicorns Trophy but did not feature in the Championship.

Suffolk, who leave out 16-year-old Bury St Edmunds batsman Alex Oxley, lead the Eastern Division table at the half-way point of the season.

They sit three points ahead of second-placed Lincolnshire, while Norfolk, one of only two sides not to have played three fixtures, are fifth heading into the match at Minor Park (start 11am).

For ex-Essex batsman Jaik Mickleburgh it is a return to the county where he grew up playing club and Minor Counties cricket, before signing for Essex in 2008.

He said: “I am really excited. I grew up playing my age group cricket for Norfolk from under-10s and under-11s through to the under-17s and Development side and then playing for the men’s team before moving to Essex.

“When I was at Horsford I moved there to progress my career and play a higher standard in the East Anglian Premier League.

“I was looked after really well under the leadership of Paul Newman, who was at Horsford at the time, and Chris Brown, so they were really good times for me and really progressive times in my career.

“I played for Horsford there for four or five years and a few Minor Counties games for Norfolk there so I obviously know the conditions pretty well.”

Suffolk squad: Jaik Mickleburgh, Martyn Cull, Kyran Young, Michael Comber, Ben Shepperson, Tom Rash, Merv Westfield, Adam Mansfield (wkt & capt), Jake Wakelin, Darren Ironside, James Poulson, Hugo Douglas