Three competitive games and three losses this weekend. Here's the summary:
The league game against Poloc was won by their pro, scoring 127 in 119 balls to chase down 240.
West had shown up well in our innings with two top order fifties, two fifty partnerships and the tail chipping in again with a valuable 41 runs in five overs. SB% was a solid 37%, with 68 singles hit. There were 27 runs stolen.
Poloc were poor in the field, letting 18 byes and dropping nine catches. They only saved 8 runs in the field too. Compare that to West: four drops, 12 runs saved. Overall West came out seven runs on top. It just shows how important getting the right player out becomes. The pro was dropped and he won the game.
The West bowling might have been better in one respect: Wickets. Seven taken was the lowest of the year so far, despite Poloc having a no greater control percentage than average.
Again, all of the metrics we use to judge the game were won by West and, for the second match of the year, we lost. A positive sign for West, and a sign that cricket is never predictable! The lesson I take from this is that it's not enough to be better at running, bowling straight and fielding that the opposition, we need to be so good at those things that even a professional cricketer can't get away. It won't happen every time, but it is the benchmark we should set ourselves.
The second XI - who have destroyed all comers this year - also lost. Reports from the captain suggested there was very poor bowling (50 extras) and a batsman who got lucky to give the opposition a reasonable score. However, the batting fell apart under moderate pressure and the twos were bowled out. With a side this strong, I'm hoping it's a glitch that can be corrected quickly.
In the cup match on Sunday, there was a huge gulf between the teams that showed us up. Arbroath played well to score 310 on a featherbed pitch with lightning outfield. However, West's batting fell to pieces. At 44-4 the game was essentially over. There were three run outs, one was so horrifyingly bad I struggle to believe it happened.
A batsman was playing nicely but hit a ball straight up to deep midwicket. The fielder dropped the ball but the batsman had not moved. Instead of the usual "jog to the other end in vain hope" he had been ball watching. Both batsmen were at the same end. By the time he reacted he was run out. Insane times and one of the main errors that cost the game.
There was a sprightly effort from the middle order and tail but it was too little too late. On the easiest pitch you will ever bat on, we barely made 180. It was the worst batting performance this year by some margin.
Stats from the game:
- West saved six runs in the field and took four catches.
- West dropped six catches and misfielded 10 balls (most of which went for four).
- Arbroath stole 18 singles through good running. West managed 11.
It was our first "minus" performance in the field for the year. Arbroath taught us a lesson that no matter how well you play, someone is better than you. I hope we see this as a way to motivate ourselves to further improve.