SUDBURY Cricket Club captain Darren Batch believes overseas star Hasantha Fernando is primed to plot the downfall of rivals Bury St Edmunds on Saturday.
The Victory Ground clash (11am) will see Sudbury travel up the A134 without having completed an East Anglian Premier League game in four attempts, while Bury got a full match in, narrowly losing at home to Vauxhall Mallards on Saturday.
But Batch believes former Sri Lankan international Fernando’s form for the Sunday side in the lead up to the game will see him hit the ground running for the first team this season.
Sudbury will be missing fast bowler Matthew Hunn, who was making his second team bow for Essex this week and has St Joseph’s College commitments on Saturday, while Ugandan off-spinner Clive Kyangungu is also unavailable due to taking his pilots licence.
But Fernando is ready to play the starring role on Saturday, with Batch confident his second season at Friars Street will be even better than his first.
“Hasantha is looking good,” he said. “It is a big bonus that he is here now and he seems to have settled in really well.
“The atmosphere at the club at training nights is really positive now he is here.”
And although frustrated at their third game in a row being called off on Saturday, this time at Clacton, the skipper doesn’t see it as a big problem ahead of facing Bury.
“It is obviously frustrating,” he said, “but we were quite lucky we got five of our first team players a game in the second team, although I am not sure Bury’s second team were not happy about that.
After catching the eye in the second team’s win over Bury, Billy Moulten Day will be a like-for-like replacement in the bowling attack for Hunn.
And Batch was deligthed to see Suffolk starlet Hunn continue his promising path to the top of the game after this week’s three-day outing for Essex’s second string against Glamorgan at Southend.
He said: “We are really pleased for him as he has obviously got big ambitions to play cricket at the highest standard he can and it is great to see him in a major counties team like Essex.
“He has played for Suffolk in the minor counties and this is another stepping stone to him realising his dream of becoming a professional cricketer.”
<n> Halstead are due to travel to Vauxhall Mallards on Saturday (11am), having seen their home fixture with Horsford last Saturday called.