Sudbury v Horsford: Rallying call to batsmen

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SUDBURY skipper Darren Batch is calling for his batsmen to step up to the mark when the Talbots take on one of the most fancied sides in the East Anglian Premier League on Saturday.

The Friars Street outfit host Horsford (11am) off the back of a rousing 36-run victory over last season’s champions Cambridge Granta on their travels last Saturday.

But Batch conceded it was only thanks to a devastating bowling spell, spearheaded by the five-wicket haul of Sri Lankan ace Hasanatha Fernando, which bailed them out from another below-par batting performance.

Sudbury hit a total of just 105, two less than the previous week’s innings which had cost them their first defeat of the campaign at home to Burwell.

“I was delighted with the overall result but certain things about the performance were not great,” admitted Batch. “Although we batted ok on a bowler-friendly pitch, I think we could have shown a little more grit and determination to stay at the crease a bit longer.

“Particular mention must go to Jay Philips (24) who was probably the only batsman to show that determination and lasted 96 balls and showed real application in what proved a match-winning knock. It was not just because of the runs he scored, but the runs scored when he was at the crease as if he had gone out we could have been bowled out for a much lower total and he kept us above 100.”

Batch’s batsmen will come up against Norfolk spin king Chris Brown on Saturday, who is averaging a wicket every 10.79 runs so far this season, while Essex’s Jaik Mickleburgh carried his side over the winning line against Bury St Edmunds at the weekend with 55 runs from 76 balls.

Batch said: “I think over one-and-half years in the Premier League the bowlers have put in the big performances and won games, getting us a lot of points.

“It would be nice if the batsmen gave the bowlers more than 120-150 to defend to give them a fighting chance.”

After ringing the changes for last week’s win, Batch is set to name the same XI, bar spinner Ben Reece (unavailable), with Suffolk fast bowler Matthew Hunn still unavailable due to school commitments.

Meanwhile, Halstead face Bury St Edmunds at Star Stile (11am) with both sides looking to pick up their first win of the season to help relieve the pressure at the bottom of the table.