Mildenhall to face Wivenhoe in battle of the table toppers

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MILDENHALL will face Wivenhoe tomorrow (11am) in a battle at the top of Division One of the Two Counties Cricket Championship.

The table toppers will travel to Wivenhoe for the clash with only three points separating the sides at the top of Division One and, despite nursing a couple of injuries, captain Steve Lankester believes the team can carry their good from into the weekend.

He said: “We are not trying to look overly confident going into the game but we have been in excellent form in the league before it was halted slightly by abandoned matches.

“We will be missing a couple of players for the game with Alex Reynolds on holiday and Ben Shepperson injured, so James Holmes and Ziaf Kulasi will be brought into the team.

“It is a loss because the two had played well when they featured earlier in the season, however the two lads coming in are arguably as experienced.

“James has already featured for us this season and has been excellent bowling and batting with some good figures.

“It isn’t as big a worry when players are injured now because the second team have been doing extremely well and we can call on those players when needed.”

Mildenhall go into the clash unbeaten in nine matches, having won eight in a row before an abandoned match against Haverhill on June 18, meaning they have not played for two weeks. However, Lankester doesn’t feel it will affect the consistency of the team.

He added:“The break through abandoned games shouldn’t affect us too badly because a few of the lads played last week in the third team.

“There is a lot of cricket to be played in the summer and although we might not have played as many league games the lads have been able to keep their sharpeness and fitness up playing elsewhere. The rest can be a good thing at times as well.

If they do manage to beat Wivenhoe at the weekend, Mildenhall will extend their points advantage over their nearest challengers in the league and improve their chances of becoming champions, which Lankester feels would be reward for years of growing as a squad.

He said: “We would like to think we can win the league. Everybody sets out at the beginning aiming to win, so to be able to do that would be excellent.

“The last few years have been about building on the experience with the squad and it has showed this season with the start we have had. It is pretty much the same side with seven or eight regulars that have built together.”