Matt Lamb reflects upon Warwickshire's championship-winning season in 2021 as "brilliant to be part of."
Edgbaston player pathway product Lamb played in 13 of the Bears’ 14 championship games, scoring 565 runs at 31.38. Those runs included a number of match-shaping contributions as the Wolverhampton-born all-rounder dug in just when his team needed it.
The value and versatility of his batting was perfectly illustrated in the must-win last game of the season, at home to Somerset.
In the first innings, with the Bears needing to put a solid total on the board, Lamb went in at 139 for three and scored 44 in over two hours to add 132 overs with Sam Hain. In the second, when quick runs were needed, his 20-ball 27 in a stand of 63 in seven overs with Rob Yates helped create the time the Bears needed to bowl Somerset out.
He looks back on that match, and most of all that momentous final day, as incredibly special.
“In the first innings we didn’t know how it was going to pan out bonus points-wise so me and Hainy just tried to get some runs on the board and then up the scoring rate later on,” Lamb said. “In the second we needed quick runs so I just went out there with licence to attack. Then to win the way we did was just indescribable.
“I wish I could bottle the 20 minutes after we took that last wicket. It was brilliant to celebrate with all our families on the pitch afterwards but if I could relive anything, it would be that 20 minutes.
“It was a fantastic season, especially the last two weeks, and then winning in the last session of day four of the last game…the lads are still talking about it. It was brilliant to be part of it and to play most of the games in a championship-winning season.
“Looking back, I was pleased to contribute to most of the games, though it was a little bit frustrating to get a few thirties or forties without going on to get a big hundred in the championship.Matt Lamb
“That was the pleasing thing about the 50-over campaign. In the one-day stuff I did contribute some match-winning performances. Also in that tournament I bowled in quite a lot of games and really enjoyed that. That gave me good exposure which is what I need to improve my bowling.
“Although I scored some runs in the 50-over comp, I was more pleased with the way I bowled in it, to be honest. Actually, since we’ve been back in this winter, I haven’t done too much batting but I’ve done quite a lot of bowling. I’d love to really contribute with the ball next season.”
Lamb has become a integral member of the first-team squad, both for his skills and a also temperament which sees him often at his best when the team is under pressure.
Not that he will be by any means taking a first-team place for granted in 2022. The 25-year-old is prepared for battle royal to be in the starting XI as the Bears defend their title.
“Things have changed a lot since I first signed five or six years ago,” he said. “We are now at the stage where people have a little bit more experience and now, when everyone is fit, we have got a very strong squad.
“As individuals we know we have to be on top of our game because there are so many players competing for places. That can only augur well for us trying to bring the title to Edgbaston for two years on the bounce.”
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