HIMLEY skipper Ben Smith has underlined the importance of getting their home season off to a winning start.

They will welcome Barnards Green to Stourbridge Road this Saturday (12noon start) aiming to chalk up their first success of the campaign.

The season opener at Wellington last Saturday was abandoned due to the wet weather after Himley had batted for nearly 40 overs.

Smith said: “We are now looking ahead to our first home game. Everyone is looking forward to it.

“It’s exciting to play in front of our home fans and we think we know how to play our own pitch.

“It is important that we get off to a winning start. We want to be strong at home, especially if we are to be up at the top of the league challenging.”

Against Wellington, Himley had reached 132-7 after 39.1 overs before the game was brought to a premature halt.

Opener Will Fraine top scored with 43 from 74 balls before being bowled by Bhargav Merai.

Greg Wright only managed 22 before Chris Boroughs (0) and Bilaal Hussain (4) then fell cheaply.

Smith, batting at five, hit a quick-fire 32 before being forced to retire injured. Rain stopped play after further Himley wickets fell to leave them on 132.

However, the captain was optimistic that his side were not too far from a competitive total.

He said: “Looking at the way the pitch was playing I think anything between 180 and 210 would have given us a chance.

“If we could have taken some early wickets then it could have gone our way.

“It’s disappointing that it ended how it did but now we’ll focus on getting the win this weekend.”

Himley have no overseas player this term and are set to be without Worcestershire’s Tom Kohler-Cadmore for the Barnards Green clash.

It means the team is likely to be unchanged if Smith can overcome injury.

“It’s just a muscle injury and I came off after feeling tight,” he explained.

“I’m planning on having some intense physiotherapy this week and will hopefully be okay to play. It shouldn’t be long-term.”

Meanwhile, Smith outlined his goals for the season.

“We want to be challenging for promotion. That is the goal,” he added.

“We want to go into the last five games knowing where we stand and what is needed from us to go up.

“I’m very pleased with the ability of the squad overall. We have a good balance about us. We don’t have an overseas player because we want to give chances to the guys we already have, as well as the younger players coming through.

“I’m pleased with my own form as well. I’ve been chipping in nicely. With coaching and the captaincy it means there is a lot of things to concentrate on. Sometimes it’s nice to just go out and bat.”