The first XI game was another lost to rain, although we did get the full first innings in, bowling and conceding 287.
I'm starting to notice a lack of wickets up top is hurting us. We have only one bowler who has taken a wicket in the first 10 overs, and his strike rate is 36. This means decent opening stands that translate to a platform to hit out.
Combine this with some horrifying RpO stats for the last 10 (6.6 is the best, then 7.7, 9.8 and 16.3) and you see the knock on effect. We are stronger in the middle overs but the top and bottom are poor, with the top being the root cause.
There is not much to comment on with the batting as we only made it to 16 overs. The top three hustled hard to try and get ahead of the D/L par, which was impressive. We had a couple of specific tactical issues with two guys in the middle that I will not discuss here, but gave me food for thought to work on individual things.
Meanwhile the seconds won a battle that was more about bearing the weather. They batted first, got a decent total then made short work of the opposition barring to win before the rain came. A solid performance.
One question that came up was the overall role of the 2nd XI. We have a team that are a mix of first hopefuls and second regulars. So, when a first team squad player who trains hard comes in, do you play him ahead of a regular seconds guy who has less chance of moving up but is doing well?
My thought is that priority goes to the ambitious player regardless of form. This player is better for the club as it creates a first team squad and it better for the culture because it shows that training, ambition and results gets priority.