Balcombe: We need patience to finish the job

Sean Ervine takes the catch as Chris Wood celebrates. Picture: Neil Marshall
Sean Ervine takes the catch as Chris Wood celebrates. Picture: Neil Marshall
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David Balcombe has tasked Hampshire with making up for the lost opportunity as they bid to drive home their advantage today.

The Hampshire seamer cut a frustrated figure in the first round of Championship fixtures as the Ageas Bowl side were denied victory by the weather when they had put themselves in position.

But that setback does not appear to have dented their confidence.

And Balcombe knows the importance of finishing the job this time with Hampshire well on top after day two of their clash with Worcestershire.

Balcombe said: ‘It was frustrating because we had maximum bonus points and if we had won that game against Leicestershire, we would have been sitting proud at the top of the table and would have had great momentum.

‘I still think we have picked up great momentum anyway off the back of that but those extra points are so valuable at the end of the season.

‘You can look back and think “if only” so hopefully we can keep going and get maximum points again.

‘But it has been a tremendous effort from the guys, particularly early in the season.

‘It’s going to be a hard slog over the next three weeks with back-to-back games so it’s a lot of work for the bowlers but hopefully we can come out with a positive result.

‘Who knows what the summer is going to be like? If it’s anything like last year where we lost so many days to rain, points are extremely valuable.

‘So it’s nice to be in this position with runs on the board.

‘We didn’t do that enough last year but it shows the amount of pressure we are putting the opposition under.’

Balcombe admits that the burden will be back on the bowlers’ shoulders today and they will require discipline and patience as they try to take another 15 wickets on a good pitch.

He said: ‘The bowlers are backing each other up and we’ve got to keep going with this aggressive and disciplined brand of cricket.

‘There is less of a green tinge to the pitch this time and it’s hard work. But it’s a good cricket wicket and there is enough in there if you hit the right areas.

‘It’s a lot harder work this time but the guys stuck together as a unit and we’ve spoken about that a lot.

‘There is a lot of hard work left in this game yet. We have to be patient and try to bowl them out to enforce the follow-on and then do it all again.’

The 28-year-old, who was the leading wicket-taker in Championship division two last summer with 59 wickets, failed to get off the mark with the ball in the draw with Leicestershire.

But with two scalps, he admitted it had been a relief to get back among the wickets while he reserved special mention for skipper Jimmy Adams’ brilliant 219 not out.

He said: ‘I thought I bowled well against Leicestershire but things went against me. But I know I’ve got to stick in there and help the other bowlers out if it’s not quite going my way.

‘It was nice to get off the mark anyway.

‘But it was a very pleasing day. We picked up from where we left off and Jimmy was fantastic.

‘He took all the responsibility on his shoulders and thrived on it.

‘It was nice to put my feet up and watch it but we then backed it up with the ball really well.

‘We’re in a very good position and we need to make it count.’