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Sudbury skipper Batch facing hectic schedule

Nathan Poole scored 101.
Nathan Poole scored 101.

Sudbury Cricket Club captain Darren Batch gets married tomorrow, but will lead the team in the derby at Hadleigh the following day.

He will also captain the team against the Lord’s Taverners at Sudbury on Sunday, play in two of the club’s Cricket Week games, and in the home derby against Halstead on August 1.

Batch marries Kirsty Sloan, a former Sudbury Hockey Club ladies captain, at the cricket club. “The honeymoon is postponed until after the Halstead game,” he said, “but Kirsty is very understanding.”

Sudbury’s home game against Hadleigh, back in May, resulted in a ten-wicket victory for the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship Division One leaders, who dismissed Hadleigh for 85. But Batch is not expecting such an easy outing this time.

“Sometimes teams have bad days. It was just one of those things,” he said. “We had a bad day against Mistley. You want to go through the season unbeaten, but you are always likely to lose the odd game.

“And Hadleigh will have Ben Parker in their line up. He also plays for Suffolk and can score runs.”

Sudbury cemented their table-topping position on Saturday with a 155-run victory over Coggeshall. Tom Huggins and Nathan Poole shared a first-wicket partnership of 209.

“Getting runs at the top of the order is vital,” said Batch. “The openers can give you a platform. We have some powerful players down the order, and if the openers score, that frees us up to attack.”

Batch feels Huggins and Poole have gelled well. “Nathan has grown as a player, and is now an accomplished opener for Sudbury and Suffolk. Having Tom in the squad has obviously helped him.”

Josh Davey, who led the Hadleigh side beaten earlier this season, but who has now stepped down from the captaincy, said the team had struggled in the first half of the season with availability problems.

“We have a more settled side now, and we’re confident we can get the results to get us back into mid-table,” he said.

Hadleigh posted a respectable 283 at Witham on Saturday, but the promotion-chasers passed it for the loss of three wickets. “We bowled poorly and got punished,” said Davey.

“There are a number of games we have thrown away,” he said. “We could have been on eight wins instead of five, but we are now playing a lot better cricket than earlier in the season.”

Captain Ben Wallis is unavailable on Saturday, so Davey will lead the side. “It was a heavy defeat at Sudbury,” said Wallis, “so we hope we can turn it around.”

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