Alex Oxley is hoping his maiden half century for Suffolk will be the first of many big scores to come for the county.
The 16-year-old scored 53 in Suffolk’s first innings of the drawn Unicorns Championship match versus Norfolk at Manor Park.
The Culford School pupil struck five fours from 143 balls faced as he shared a second-wicket stand of 123 with Martyn Cull, who fell four short of a century.
Oxley was dismissed lbw for the second time in the match by former Suffolk all-rounder Ben France when he was out for a duck in Suffolk’s second innings.
The Bury St Edmunds batsman said of his first innings knock: “It was good to be given the opportunity to bat at number three and it came off for me.
“I enjoyed working hard for the team and having Martyn Cull at the other end was extremely helpful as he has a wealth of experience and knowledge.”
Oxley, who was playing his third Unicorns Championship match in a row after becoming Suffolk’s youngest player since the Second World War, added: “Hopefully it will be the first of many big innings I play for the county.”
After a rain-interrupted opening day, Suffolk’s first innings closed on 300 for 9, and the county appeared to be on course for a sizeable lead when Norfolk were reduced to 197 for 8 in their reply.
But skipper Chris Brown’s unbeaten 69 steered his side to within just 11 runs of the visitors’ total.
Jaik Mickleburgh then top-scored in Suffolk’s second innings with 64 on his return to Horsford where he played his club cricket prior to joining Essex as the visitors tried to build a match-winning total.
However, Suffolk were precariously placed at 133 for 6 on the last afternoon, Mildenhall skipper Ben Shepperson, batting at number four, having contributed a breezy 32 off 49 deliveries.
But just as Suffolk had failed to dismiss the hosts’ tail, so Norfolk struggled to polish off the Suffolk innings, with Kyran Young falling for 49 — one run shy of his first fifty for the county.
They were eventually dismissed for 243 and the match was declared as a draw with Norfolk five for no wicket at the start of the last hour and no chance of either side claiming a victory.
Suffolk, who stay top of the East Division, now face Cumberland at Ipswich School, starting on Sunday, July 30.