Chakrabarti saluted as Dons hunt for top form

Hambledon's Indy Chakrabarti
Hambledon's Indy Chakrabarti
Stuart Ransley stepped it up against South Wilts. Picture: Neil Marshall

Havant confident league crown will be secured

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Will Bond insists Hambledon are ready to turn their season around as they prepare to welcome third-placed Sparsholt to Ridge Meadow tomorrow (1pm).

Although the Dons have won just one of their first five Southern League division two games, with one washed-out, they have been competitive.

Bond is convinced his team possess the quality to start winning games on a regular basis.

No-one is working harder to change their fortunes than Indy Chakrabarti, who has scored 160 runs at an average of 40 so far this term.

And in Bond’s eyes, the batsman’s success is richly deserved because of his dedicated approach to the game.

‘Nobody trains harder or cares more than Indy,’ said the Dons skipper.

‘He takes his cricket very seriously and puts his heart and soul into everything.

‘His dedication is fantastic, as is his experience in what is largely a young team.

‘Indy is one of those players who just gets on with his job and you can totally rely on him.

‘In the past, he fielded in the covers but with a couple of players missing he has moved into the slips.

‘And he has done well there, too, not spilling any catches.

‘Indy has played some important innings for us so far this season and the time spent out in the middle is starting to pay off. He is a dream to have in your side.’

Despite their slow start, Hambledon still harbour ambitions of matching or even bettering last season’s effort.

They only narrowly missed out on promotion and Bond refuses to write off a similar outcome. The Dons boast the batting firepower to take on any bowling attack in the league with the ever-reliable George Marshall continuing to produce the goods at the top of the order.

Bond, who has been suffering with a shoulder injury, will only add to that batting strength when he returns to full fitness.

Henry Glanfield struck 71 in the loss at Hartley Wintney last week, proving he can be a threat in the middle order.

However, Bond admits Hambledon need to regain the habit of winning tight games if they are to improve their league position.

He added: ‘Our batting has been pretty good and we have got maximum batting points twice already.

‘The only time we have been below par was in our defeat against OTs & Romsey.

‘In all our other games, we have posted competitive totals.

‘George and Indy have been consistent and we just need a few more to chip in.’

Hambledon and Sparsholt have been regular rivals in recent years.

Bond’s men have tended to do better in their skirmishes at home and he is hoping to continue that trend at Ridge Meadow tomorrow.

The Dons skipper, who names an unchanged side for the clash, is confident his side know how to make home advantage count and is looking for them to do that again.

Hambledon: Marshall, Bond, Chakrabarti, Le Clercq, Khan, Glanfield, Shinn, Harding, Chapman O, Chapman R, Hetherington