THERE was change in the air this week at the club allowing a full quota of cricket to be played at last; and a bumper one for the club.
The adult teams had five wins out of five and Martyn Waterfall’s Kwik Cricketers (made up of those juniors, who do not play any hard ball format of the game) went undefeated in the Halstead tournament.
Two Sudbury teams entered, seven matches, no defeats and top of both pools at the end of the day — yet more evidence of the sterling work the junior coaching set-up is doing and the future talent that it is producing.
The theme of change had started well before the weekend though, it took hold on Tuesday night in selection.
The first XI’s low-scoring defeat the week before was the first defeat of 2012 for Darren Batch’s team. It followed on from a win and two good draws, but he was ruthless and rung the changes straight away; perhaps a sign of the genuine ambition and expectation of our improving status in the Premier League.
It almost backfired as the team scored less than they did the previous week. However, he got the call right when opting for tried and tested opener Jay Phillips, who batted nearly 100 balls to scrape Sudbury past 100 and as Cambridge Granta fell for 69 in a low-scoring thriller, the value of Phillps’ 24 runs and his selection became apparent.
The main reason for the victory, however, was in the bowling. At one point Hasantha Fernando had taken five wickets for just one run.
He got expensive towards the end, eventually going for seven runs in nine overs, but he and the other bowlers secured a crucial 30 points, taking the side into fifth place.
Elsewhere, Matt Pears played a cool knock of 53no as the seconds beat Kelvedon, and in a change to the past 15 years of bowling at Sudbury, Charlie Thomas was brought back to bowl at the tail and to great effect.
Taking 5-22, he bowled at the stumps, something many opening bowlers forget to do at tailenders (they usually get excited and try to knock heads off), and one wonders why, when Charlie ripped Kelvedon’s lower order out with consummate proficiency and for such few runs, the last eight wickets adding just 50 to the visitors’ total.
Jack Backler has changed his priorities and given up work to concentrate on cricket. It seems to be paying off as he scored 88 in the victory for our thirds at Halstead and in a change to God’s 2012 weather programme our ladies actually played a game in good weather, beating Mistley and continuing their march towards another finals day at Chelmsford.
Father’s Day saw a packed Friars Street to watch Sudbury beat local rivals Melford — one apiece in terms of results this year for the teams separated by the A134 roundabout, but it was a friendly and jovial atmosphere at the club.
With the inaugural ‘Get a Babysitter’ party night this Saturday and Cricket Week coming up in July it will need some busy days and nights at the club to repair the income which has inevitably taken a knock due to call-offs; so we hope to see plenty of support over the next few weeks both on and off the pitch.
Let’s all try and get down this Saturday for a beer. All teams are local, it could be England in the quarter-finals of the Euros.