Talbots confident of taking on champions

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SUDBURY will be bidding to get back to winning ways when they travel to Cambridge Granta in the East Anglian Premier League on Saturday (11am).

The Talbots suffered their first defeat of the season in a low-scoring game at home to Burwell last week, losing by 14 runs, but skipper Darren Batch is confident that his team can beat last season’s champions.

Sudbury currently lie seventh in the table, while Granta are 11th, bottom but one.

“They have lost a number of players since last season,” said Batch, “and this has obviously had an effect.”

Batch, who elected to field first after winning the toss against Burwell, refused to blame the pitch for Sudbury’s narrow defeat. “It was the same for both sides. But we would have been crazy to bat first,” he said.

“We let them get 20 to 30 runs too many on the wicket. Then they bowled well and asked questions of our batsmen which we weren’t able to answer.”

He is looking for a different approach on Saturday. “It’s vital we play like we have in the three games before the Burwell match. With the weather having an effect on the fixtures it’s vital we make every ball count and keep runs down when we are bowling, and we scratch for every possible run when we bat,” he said.

With so many fixtures having been lost to the weather, the gap between the top and bottom sides is not too large. Swardeston top the table, but are within reach of most of the teams in the top half.

And Batch is confident of a top-half finish. “It’s a tight league,” he said. “Teams are beating each other. We just need to get back to playing as we have earlier in the season, and I think we clinch a top-half spot.”

Halstead gave leaders Swardeston a tough game last week, but went down to their fourth defeat of the season by three wickets and are still looking for their first EAPL victory. On Saturday, bottom of the table Halstead host eighth-placed Clacton at Star Stile.