Matt Lamb is loving the addition of leg spin as a string to his cricketing bow - and intends to put in more hard yards in the nets next winter to further hone that element of his game.
Lamb was the standout contributor with the bat in the Bears’ Royal London Cup campaign, his 360 runs at an average of 60 including a maiden List A century.
He also helped turn a game with the ball, his four for 35 halting Somerset’s charge in the final game at Edgbaston. That was due reward for the 25-year-old’s hours of work in the Indoor Centre last winter as he set about turning from medium-pace to leg-spin.
Wrist spin is a desperately difficult skill to master, but Lamb clearly has an aptitude for it. It is a skill he is very keen to further hone…so should Danny Briggs be concerned about his position as the Bears’ senior spinner…?
“I don’t think Danny needs to worry!” said Lamb. “But I do love bowling leg spin. In the last game, it was great to score 90 but I was actually more pleased with my bowling!
“I have worked really hard on it and it’s something I really enjoy doing. It’s quite a difficult skill and can be frustrating at times but I put quite a lot of work in last winter so it was nice to get some wickets.
“It is tough, with a completely different action to when I was a seamer, but I have spent a lot of time on it in the nets, getting used to the rhythms of it. I didn’t actually expect to bowl much this season, having worked on it for only six months, but I’m always keen to give it a go.
“I had always bowled seam but kept getting injured, side strains and my back, which meant I couldn’t play as a batter. So the club banned me from bowling seam and one day last winter I got bored so I bowled a few leg-spinners. My action lent itself to that more than off spin, so I thought I’d throw a few out there and they came out alright, so I stuck with it! My height helps as well so I can get a bit of bounce.
“It’s still very early days and I’m still very much a work in progress but I do enjoy it, so I’ll work hard on it again next winter and see where it goes. I’d like to add a couple of other variations alongside the orthodox leg-spinner, so that’s the mission for the winter!”
Before then, following his excellent 50-over campaign, Lamb will be pressing hard for inclusion in the team for the rest of this season as the Bears chase silverware in the Vitality Blast and LV=Insurance County Championship.
“The 50-over campaign was great for us,” he said. “You look back at the first game at Glamorgan where we had eight players making their List A debuts and look at how far the side has come from then with the likes of Ethan Brookes, Jacob Bethell, Dan Mousley and George Garrett all contributing to first-team wins.
“It was quite a strange feeling for me at the start of the tournament. I was like a senior player but, although I have been around for a while, I had only played three List A games before this season. I hadn’t played loads of one-day cricket so, on a personal note, it was great to contribute to some wins.
“It was a brilliant tournament for us and the way the young guys performed will stand them and the club in great stead for years to come.”