Suffolk County Cricket Club skipper Tom Huggins says his side are improving by the week.
The county will be playing for pride when they face Hertfordshire in their final Unicorns Knock-out Trophy Group Four game of the season at the Victory Ground in Bury St Edmunds on Sunday (11am).
Suffolk suffered their third straight loss when they went down by 56 runs to Wiltshire at Warminster last Sunday, but Huggins remains optimistic about the future for his young side.
The visitors were dismissed for 307, after being asked to chase down Wiltshire’s 363 all out off the last ball of their allotted 50 overs.
Huggins said: “We bowled poorly for the first 40 overs on Sunday with too many boundary balls. We got hit both sides of the wicket and it was a hard ground to defend without clear plans.
“The last 10 we bowled well and clawed it back to a score we could, and probably should, have chased.
“Batting-wise, we played with good intent as you’ve got to when chasing 360 and I was pleased with our effort. The only disappointment and difference was that we didn’t have anyone go on.
“Everyone got a good start and we needed someone to get a hundred to challenge that total.”
Despite the defeat, Huggins said there were plus points in Suffolk’s performance, including Bury’s Mark Nunn on his debut.
“Mark Nunn bowled well on his debut as did Ben Reece. The fielding was good throughout and batting-wise everyone played nicely and the intent was there,” he said.
Hertfordshire have lost two and had one of their three fixtures cancelled, so both sides will be wanting to avoid finishing bottom of the group.
Huggins added: “We’ll approach Sunday’s game like any other game. We are looking for our first win this season and we are getting stronger each week.
“We just need to put it all together now and perform as a unit better.”
The squad includes Nunn and his Bury captain Michael Comber, while Huggins, Tom Rash and Adam Mansfield will all be returning to the ground where they used to play their club cricket.
Suffolk squad: T Huggins (c), M Cull, B Parker, D Batch, M Comber, J Beaumont, T Rash, A Mansfield (wkt), M Westfield, M Wareing, B Reece, N Poole, M Nunn.