Batch expecting derby to be a competitive encounter

UNBEATABLE: Opener Tom Huggins batting for Sudbury against Great Witchingham on his way to an unbeaten score of 73 runs off 83 balls. He hit 14 boundaries to help the home side comfortably beat The Witches.
UNBEATABLE: Opener Tom Huggins batting for Sudbury against Great Witchingham on his way to an unbeaten score of 73 runs off 83 balls. He hit 14 boundaries to help the home side comfortably beat The Witches.

Sudbury Cricket Club are prepared for Saturday’s trip to rivals Bury St Edmunds, where they will arrive as overwhelming favourites.

Sudbury are at the top of the East Anglian Premier Cricket League having won all five of their games, while Bury remain rooted to the bottom with no victories.

The derby match at the Victory Ground (11am) is the first for both sides with the all-day format, as the league ramps up for the longer summer days.

Club captain Darren Batch revealed his side are looking forward to a ‘great game’.

“We’ve had some really good games over the years against Bury,” he said.

“A lot of players know each other, whether they’ve been involved with Suffolk or even played for the side.

“There’s definitely a friendly rivalry between us.

“We know we’re favourites for the game because we are top, but it’s a tough league so every game is tough.

“We’ve got to where we are through hard work and training.”

He said the team, which includes Suffolk captain Adam Mansfield, who guided the county to victory over Bedfordshire on Sunday, are playing with positivity as they go from win to win.

“It was a fantastic result for Suffolk at the weekend,” he said. “And it helps my mindset to be winning for club and county.

“But Sudbury are on an even better winning streak so it’s positive all-round.

“That’s what we’ll focus on this week, despite it being the first week of the longer format. Positivity is working well for us.”

His comments follow Sudbury’s home game against Great Witchingham on Saturday, with both sides going into it with an unbeaten record.

But spectators were stunned by the one-sided match, which saw Sudbury win by 10 wickets.

The Friars Street team won the toss and fielded first, turning to bowlers Jonny Gallagher and James Poulson to open.

Both men kept things tight as The Witches struggled to score runs. Dan Poole was given his first bowl of the season and it proved an inspired decision as he finished with 3-32. Tom Huggins also took three wickets for just 18 runs.

Wickets kept falling for Great Witchingham to see them all out for a 121 runs off 47.2 overs.

In reply, Huggins (73 not out) and Mansfield (42no) started positively and punished anything loose from the Witchingham bowlers during the opening overs.

The Witches bowlers struggled to deal with the relaxed form of Sudbury’s opening batsmen, as the home side caught the total set within 22.5 overs, finishing on 123-0.

Only reigning champions Swardeston are matching The Talbots’ unbeaten record in the EAPL this season.