Captain Batch takes blame as big batsmen fail

SUDBURY captain Darren Batch was left to accept full responsibility as his side ended the season in disappointing fashion, slumping to defeat to 
rivals Bury St Edmunds in the Suffolk Twenty20 Cup final on Sunday.

The Friars Street outfit travelled to the Victory Ground in Bury on Sunday in good form, having ended their East Anglian Premier Division campaign a day previously with a comprehensive 10-wicket victory over Halstead to confirm a ninth-place finish.

However, after easing past Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Division One runners-up Mildenhall in the semi-finals, Batch’s charges had no answer for Bury’s batting prowess as they fell 39 runs short of the hosts’ 154-run total to end up as beaten finalists for a second successive year.

Reflecting on the defeat afterwards, a disappointed Batch highlighted his, and fellow senior player Hasantha Fernando’s, shortcomings with the bat as the decisive factor in defeat.

“I thought we played well in the first game against Mildenhall, but unfortunately we couldn’t follow that up in the final,” he said. “It is disappointing because we come to these competitions knowing Bury are the team to beat, but again our big players haven’t really performed with the bat.

“It was important that myself or Hasantha set a good platform for the other guys to play round and we didn’t do that.

“I only managed to get one and Hasantha five and that doesn’t help the younger lads whatsoever following on afterwards.

“Normally if either Hasantha or myself can set it up then our big hitters can play around us, but we just didn’t do that and that was the difference.

“Hopefully we can come back next year and try and put on a better performance and maybe win one of these one day.”

Despite the defeat, Batch can still take positives from the competition with a large number of young players gaining valuable experience.

“It wasn’t the outcome we were hoping for, but I still think we played well throughout the day, particularly with the ball, and that is pleasing.

“We had a number of young players and to their credit they coped with the occasion well and they will improve from this.

“However, our season was summed up in one Twenty20 game because we bowled and fielded well, but unfortunately our batting just wasn’t at the level it should have been.”

Meanwhile, Hadleigh’s hopes of clinching the Two Counties Division Two title on the final day ended in disappointment as they fell just one point short of Witham’s points haul.

Needing to overhaul a two-point deficit, already-promoted Hadleigh did their best with a maximum 20 points at home to Braintree in a 66-run win.

But Witham’s 19 points, from a three-wicket win at Worlington, proved enough to seal the top spot.