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Darren Batch looking forward to 'massive day' for Sudbury Cricket Club as Suffolk entertain Hertfordshire with their NCCA Trophy destiny in their own hands

Darren Batch will be bidding to continue his superb form for Suffolk in this season’s NCCA Trophy on his home ground on Sunday.

The Sudbury club captain, batting at No.7, scored an undefeated 64 off 49 deliveries and then claimed two wickets as Suffolk defeated Norfolk by 17 runs at Horsford last Sunday.

The result means Suffolk enter Sunday’s match against Hertfordshire – the first ever full competitive fixture at Friars Street – with their destiny in their own hands.

Darren Batch is looking forward to representing Suffolk on his home ground in Sudbury on Sunday Picture: Mark Westley
Darren Batch is looking forward to representing Suffolk on his home ground in Sudbury on Sunday Picture: Mark Westley

Two wins from their three Group 3 matches so far mean victory over Hertfordshire will guarantee Suffolk a quarter-final berth in this season’s 50-over competition.

Batch has yet to be dismissed in his three innings so far, scoring 61 off 54 balls in the loss to Cambridgeshire, smashing 18 off 12 in the victory over Lincolnshire and then contributing 64 not out at Manor Park.

His knock enabled Suffolk to recover from 29-4 to post 211-8 off their 47 overs, after the length of match was reduced following a delayed start due to wet patches on the outfield.

Batch then claimed 2-38, including the prize scalp of opener Sam Arthurton, who top-scored with 55 as the hosts were bowled out for 194 off the last ball of their innings.

Asked what was the secret behind his form for Suffolk this season, Batch said: “If I knew that I would try and do it for Sudbury as well!

“I think I have a clear role in the team. I have been opening the bowling and that has taken the pressure off my batting. I have got fantastic team-mates around me and some brilliant batsmen and that always helps and coach Andy Northcote has given me a clear role to bat in the lower order and have free licence to play the way that I do.”

Looking ahead to Sunday’s encounter Batch continued: “It will be a massive day for Sudbury as it’s the first time we have held a full county match.

“Everyone at the club is really excited about that and I am sure we will get a great crowd down and it should be a fantastic day with everything riding on the game and if we win we will progress to the quarter-finals.”

The match is being sponsored by the Walters Family in memory of cricket-loving mum Jean, who passed away in May of this year.

Son Colin, who has been a member of Sudbury CC for 30 years and a stalwart of Suffolk Seniors cricket, was named after her own favourite cricketer, Colin Cowdrey.

Jean and husband Clive, who was also an avid cricket fan until he passed away in 2019, lived in Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire from the mid-1940s.

Colin said: “She would have loved to have been here to see this historic event and we are delighted to sponsor the game in her memory.”

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