CRICKET: Pitches are a ‘batsmen’s paradise’ says Town skipper

Rob Ambrose in action.
Rob Ambrose in action.
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Spalding Town captain Rob Ambrose leads his side into battle at Bracebridge Heath on Saturday knowing his bowlers face a long, hot afternoon.

With the hot weather showing no signs of abating, wickets are hardening, meaning tough times for bowlers and runs aplenty for in-form batsmen.

“It’s a lovely pitch at Bracebridge and there’s usually a lot of bounce, but with the weather we have been having it will be a batsmen’s paradise,” Ambrose told the Spalding Guardian yesterday.

“If the weather keeps like this – and that is what they are predicting – you would want to be a batsman for the rest of the season and not a bowler.”

Bracebridge currently sit in third place in the ECB Premier League and were beaten at Spalding Grammar School earlier in the season.

However, they have won the title an amazing eight times since 2003 and Ambrose know his men are in for a battle.

“We are still positive. We are picking up points, which the two teams below us are not.

“Saturday should be another terrific game. They are a really good side but we are playing well now after a nervous start in the premier league.

“We are not nervous about going to places like this any more and I cannot ask any more of the lads.

“We will look to do as well as we possibly can and then push on for the rest of the season.”

The Spalding skipper was pleased with his team’s performance in a losing draw at second-placed Sleaford on Saturday.

Batting first, the visitors amassed a huge total of 316-4 in their 50 overs, with former New Zealand test batsmen Tim McIntosh hitting an undefeated 162 and young Thomas Shorthouse 61.

“Mac had a brilliant knock. He was steady up to 100 and then really let fly,” added Ambrose.

“He was brilliant really, and Shorthouse batted very well too.”

But Spalding are made of tough stuff these days and dug in well to ensure seven valuable batting points.

Star of the show for Town was South African Warren Nel with an unbeaten 115 against one of his former clubs.

The ECB League legend is eager to break into the county cricket circuit and his 15th century in three seasons will not have done that ambition any harm.

“We were great again,” said Ambrose. “Warren was obviously the star with a very determined knock but everyone chipped in.

“It was not a nice day to be a bowler.”