Mildenhall 217-5 beat
Elmstead G’hoppers 216-8
by five wickets
Mildenhall maintained their title challenge in Division One by seeing off basement side Elmstead Grasshoppers at Wamil Way on Saturday.
The visitors won the toss and elected to bat, with their first wicket falling in bizzare circumstances when Aiden O’Brien was given out for obstructing the field.
Jon Butcher and Kashif Nizami added 56 runs, with their partnership ending when Ashley Clark (1-40) bowled the latter for 28.
Butcher (31) departed just two balls later when he drove Jack Bowman (1-26) to the long off boundary and was caught by Steve Taylor.
Dan White and Mark Perrin saw up the hundred for Elmstead in the 30th over, before Perrin (51) and A Athukorala (53) each completed half centuries to pass the 200 run mark.
Tom Allen (2-43) took two wickets and Graham Cook was run out on the last ball of the innings as Elmstead closed on 216-8.
Mildenhall welcomed back Steve Taylor from a lengthy hamstring injury, with the player-coach opening the run chase alongside Joe Reed.
However his return to the crease was short lived as he was out for lbw for eight runs, with captain Ben Shepperson and Reed then adding 82 runs to the scoreboard.
Shepperson (46) gave an easy catch to Cook to leave the hosts on 99-2, before Allen (48 not out) and Reed put together a partnership of 64 which ended with the latter run out for a well-made 81.
After Andy Squire left for 21, Matt Allen joined his brother at the crease, with the duo hitting the three runs needed to clinch victory.
n In Division Two, Ryan Clark’s unbeaten knock of 96 and four wickets from Mirza Baig (4-77) helped Mildenhall II beat Dunmow by 20 runs.
n Duncan Fraser (113) scored his first century for the club to help Mildenhall III edge a nail-biter at Halstead II by two runs, while Mildenhall IV lost to Tendring by two wickets despite Sam Anstee’s 74.