Mildenhall looking to extend lead at the top

CRICKET - Mildenhall (Batting) v Haverhill (Bowling/Fielding)

Pictured: Ben Shepperson ANL-140505-163731009
CRICKET - Mildenhall (Batting) v Haverhill (Bowling/Fielding) Pictured: Ben Shepperson ANL-140505-163731009

Ben Shepperson has stressed that his Mildenhall side are determined to tighten their grip on the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship Division One summit when they play host to second-placed Witham tomorrow (1pm).

The Wamil Way-based outfit topped the standings for the first four weeks of the new season, only to then be leapfrogged by Wivenhoe, who beat Shepperson’s men by 69 runs last month.

Back-to-back wins over Copford and Frinton-on-Sea II have seen Mildenhall regain first place ahead of Witham’s visit, with just five points separating the two sides.

Having already tasted defeat in one top-of-the-table battle, Shepperson is confident that it will be a different story this time around.

“A lot of our players are in very good form, both with bat and ball,” he said.

“If you cannot be confident when you are playing as well as we are then you are playing the wrong game.

“With that confidence we have a will to win, which is allowing us to play how we want.

“We are pretty content with the start we have made. I would not say we are really happy because we lost one game against a side we want to finish above.

“The pressure we feel comes from within. We know that a win over Witham is going to give us the edge at the top, even at this early stage.”

While Mildenhall’s bowlers have produced the goods on numerous occasions, it is the batting line-up that has impressed the skipper.

On two occasions this term they have surpassed the 300-run mark, while scores of 296 and 286 have also been posted.

“I have never played in a side that scores so many runs. The volume is outstanding,” he added. “Every time we bat first at the moment we are looking to score 300 runs.

“We bat so deep. We have players batting at seven and eight that would be number threes at other teams. With the greatest of respect to the teams we have beaten, I expected to win those games, but not by such big margins. There is a real freedom about our batting that will hopefully continue on Saturday.”

Ziaf Kulasi and Hamzah Ikram will return to the side for the Witham clash, with the unavailable Kyle Anderson and Ash Clark making way.