PURTON captain Elliot Hill has challenged his top-order batsmen to “neutralise” Marlborough talisman Ben Head, saying negating the spinner’s spell will be key in securing their first WEPL Wiltshire Division victory of the season.

Marlborough captain Head is well known to Hill and the rest of the Purton team, having spent many years on the local circuit, and his wiley brand of slow bowling is often very successful in stifling the opposition’s run rate.

This weekend, however, Hill is keen for his players not to allow Head to get on top of them, stating that by winning that individual battle the newly-promoted side will have gone a long way to emerging victorious from the war.

“They had a great season last year, finishing near the top of the table. Generally they rely quite heavily on Ben Head with the ball so if we can neutralise that and win that battle it will be a positive on the batting side,” he said.

“In these type of conditions it’s not necessarily easier for a spinner to control, so hopefully that will take that aspect of their game away. But they have got other quality that will pose a threat.

“The reason we wanted to get promoted is to play against top cricketers and Ben is one.

“If you can expose or take one of their better players out of the game then you’re potentially well on course to winning the fixture. Certainly, if we can win that battle it will be great.

Elijah Samuel looks set to return to the Purton side and is expected to open the batting alongside Sam Pinchin.

Hill said he wants to take his time to figure out what the opposition at Purton’s new level are all about.

He said: “Generally for the first half of the season it will be about learning about these sides.

“We haven’t played most of them for a couple of years so we have to go in with a clear mind because you don’t have the knowledge of teams that others have.”