Talbots to learn from last-ball cup final agony

FINALISTS: Darren Batch bats for Sudbury
FINALISTS: Darren Batch bats for Sudbury

SUDBURY captain Darren Batch believes his side will grow from their experience in the Greene King Suffolk Cup with the hope of going one better next year.

The Talbots swept aside Exning in the semi-final of the Twenty/20 competition held at Bury St Edmund’s Victory Ground on Sunday but lost to Two Counties Championship Division One side Mildenhall on the last ball in the final.

It was a bitter pill for Sudbury to swallow, having never won the competition before but Batch says they will not be too downhearted as they look to secure their East Anglian Premier League status at home to Vauxhall Mallards on Saturday (11am).

“We are disappointed but at the start of the season our aim was the league and we wanted to enjoy ourselves on Sunday and if the result happened it happened,” he said.

“Unfortunately, it did not but we are not going to be too downhearted, we very rarely play Twenty/20 cricket and it is just something we want to go out and have a bit of fun in.

“Next year, hopefully it will be a different story with the young lads having had experience of a Twenty/20 cup final.”

Batch added the lack of experience was the telling factor in the end, with a few first-team players missing .

In the semi-final against Exning Sudbury posted 192-2 with Hasantha Fernando (78no) and Batch (44no) scoring an unbeaten 103 for the third wicket.

In reply, spinner Ben Reece took 3-13 as Exning could only reach 109-8 in their innings to put Sudbury into the final against Mildenhall, currently second in the league which Sudbury won last year to gain promotion.

Some tight bowling, including Suffolk’s Matthew Hunn’s four overs for just nine runs, five of which were wides, saw Mildenhall only manage 35 off the first ten overs.

The fightback was then staged by James Holmes (16) and Steve Lankester (36) but a caught and bowled by Batch and a clean bowled by Gallager saw the pair fall and Mildenhall eventually finish on 102-9.

Batch said: “We thought we should be able to chase that and not panic.

“The plan was Ben Reece would play his usual attacking game but we lost him first ball of the innings and Hasantha and I pushed up to half-way but then I thought it was time to play a few shots and unfortunately got a top edge and Hasantha and Adam Mansfield were caught at the boundary.”

Sudbury then got to the stage where they required 13 from 18 balls with three wickets left but it all came down to the last ball, which saw 17-year-old Ben Hyett run out trying to get the three required with Hunn.

Sudbury need just 10 points from their three games left in the league, against Vauxhall Mallards, Cambridge Granta and Clacton, to mathemically secure survival.

Halstead, whose match was abandoned due to rain on Saturday, continue their survival quest at second-placed Swardeston (11am) on Saturday.