Bond: Hambledon ready for pressure time
Will Bond is backing Hambledon to keep on fighting as they battle to maintain their Southern League division two status.
Hambledon host Hartley Wintney at Ridge Meadow knowing it is virtually a must-win game if they are to keep their survival hopes alive.
Bond’s team are bottom of the league and have just five games left to haul themselves out of the relegation zone.
Their cause hasn’t been helped by the weather with the last two weeks being a total wash-out.
The home captain is hoping the weather will finally relent to give his team the opportunity to do something about their situation.
‘The weather hasn’t helped and it is frustrating to lose opportunities to improve our situation,’ said Bond.
‘We felt we had a good chance of getting the necessary results against Paultons and OT’s.
‘After winning the previous game we were more than up for those games.
‘It means we have to make the most of our opportunity this weekend.
‘We have five games left and probably have to win three or four of them to give ourselves a chance.’
Though Hambledon lost at Hartley Wintney earlier in the season it was a competitive affair.
Hambledon posted a target of 225 only for the hosts to overtake them with three or four overs and four wickets to spare.
‘We know there isn’t a lot between the two teams,’ said Bond.
‘They have a strong top three in their batting so taking early wickets will be crucial for us.
‘It might be more difficult for them because our wicket tends to be a bit slower than theirs and we have a bigger outfield.
‘When we bat we have to make sure that our top three fire.
‘That hasn’t been a problem for most of the season with George Marshall, Indi Chakrabarti and myself getting some runs.’
Bond has been encouraged by the form of his bowlers this season but admits the attack lacks depth.
Opening bowler Rhidian Chapman has done an excellent job with the new ball and proved very economical.
And he has been unfortunate not to take more wickets.
His strike bowling partner Sib Khan, Hambledon’s overseas player from Australia, is improving.
It has taken him a little time to adapt to the English conditions.
The pair have been well backed up by off-spinner George Harding and Owain Chapman.
‘We have the ability to bat opponents out of the game and just need to take a few more wickets,’ said Bond.
‘In past years we have scored less runs but won more games.
‘This summer we have posted scores of 200 plus but not been able to defend them.’
Hambledon: Marshall, Chakrabarti, Bond, Khan, S Le Clercq, H Glanfield, Watkiss, O Chapman, R Chapman, Harding, C Glanfield