Sudbury captain puts faith in youth in top two clash at Swardeston
Darren Batch is confident Sudbury can provide a match-winning formula in a top-of-the-table clash at Swardeston on Saturday (11am), despite not having opening batsmen Tom Huggins and Adam Mansfield available.
The Talbots will be without skipper Huggins and Suffolk captain Mansfield, who also doubles as their wicketkeeper, as they look to return to the summit of the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League by overturning a four-point deficit over the side they beat to the title last year.
But, despite admitting the pair – who are unavailable, with Essex CCC coach Huggins with their first team at Old Trafford and Mansfield required to work at Orwell Park School – will be ‘pretty big losses’, club captain Batch believes the character and new strength in depth in the side can get them through.
“Winning the league last year has given us a lot of confidence, as shown by winning games like we did on Saturday (a 63-run home win over Vauxhall Mallards after posting 162 all out).
“I reckon two years ago we would not have seen that fightback as we did on Saturday.
“We were 21-5 and it is a long way back from there.
“We have more strength in depth talent-wise this season and more strength of character in not knowing when we are beaten and fighting to the last ball.”
Batch is set to place his trust in the youngsters with 17-year-old Keelan Waldock and Ben Parker stepping up, while Kenny Moulton-Day will step in behind the wickets.
“Ben performed well for us last year and Keelan did exceptionally well on Saturday and has been around the first team for a while now,” said Batch.
“He opened the batting for us on four occasions last year when Adam was unavailable. I have got total faith in both of them doing a good job for us.”
Batch also praised the key contributions of Johnny Gallagher with the ball, and James Poulson with the bat, as well as overseas pro Tim Johnston in Saturday’s win.
“It showed we do not just rely on Tom (Huggins),” he said.
“We have 10 other guys who are more than capable of putting in performances at Premier League level, and that is what we will go out there on Saturday to prove.”