WHCC 124 AO - I Meyer 47
by Simon Vicos
The batting displays so far cost three players a place in the side, in came Adam Portlock, Roger White and veteran loony Charlie Johnson. Walshy duly won the toss, but to be honest that was the days high spot !
I can’t quite remember how the Purley innings went in detail, there were so many boundaries I lost count. However, we still had our chances, but one of the most expensive drops I can remember could have been the pivotal moment in the game. It happens to everyone but by the time the Purley player passed the 100 mark, he really should have been sitting in the sun watching us mop the tail up. To let them get away from 110-4 off 33 overs to the giddy heights of 241-6 of 52 was not good at all. Still, there were runs in the pitch and once it got through the initial ring of fielders the ball was scorching away for four. Damo was the only one who really had any success with his 4 wickets, as usual you couldn’t fault anyone for effort (Charlie providing some good drama) but we looked a fairly demoralised outfit when we trooped off after the declaration.
Our innings didn’t get off to the best of starts, Roger getting one on the elbow that dropped down onto his stumps and Tommo departing soon after. Glenn and Quaggy once more dragged us into a position where it looked as though we could save the game but Glenn was out to a quite brilliant catch in the slips and it gave Purley a massive boost. One of their players said afterwards that Glenn was the one wicket they simply had to get and they were delighted to see the back of him, in his own words “a massive wicket”. Quaggy played some superb shots as he looked comfortable and was given good support by Dikko and Porters. However as he neared his fifty Quaggy fell victim to a freakish run out as the fielder couldn’t take the ball cleanly and it hit him on the leg and rolled onto the stumps before Quaggy made his ground. After that the innings descended into the all too familiar shambles as wicket after wicket fell far too easily. Ross is this weeks king of rashness after slapping a pie into the air as he really should know better but we eventually crumbled to a paltry 114 and were deservedly battered by 127 runs.
To be honest, May has been bloody awful and the worst series of results I can remember. We’ve been skittled out four times for nothing more than 123. And that’s where all our problems lie. There’s an awful lot of talent in the side but for some reason we seem to have found it incredibly difficult to stay at the crease, to quote a phrase heard on Saturday “They all bat like millionaires”. Maybe someone should take on board the significance of Hartfields innings for Horsley & Send against us (2 off 109 deliveries to help win them the game).
We’ve had more than our fair share of bad luck as well but that will almost certainly even itself out over a season. You could also point out that we have played 4 of the current top 7 sides in the division. However, where we excel right now is in stupid run-outs and piss poor shot selection.
Another problem area has been our fielding which has been schoolgirl level at best so far. Not including the dropped catches but our ground fielding has been woeful. We keep conceding singles because on we’re on our heels or not walking in. There have been far too many missed runouts, byes, turning 0s into 1s, 1s into 2s, 2s into 3s etc etc!. Every team we have played has been twice as sharp as us in the field. It’s only basic skills we’re talking about here, we need to concentrate and apply them, starting this week.
Last season our fielding was one of the reasons we did so well. Cast your minds back to the Ashtead game where we ran down every single ball, if we had that sort of attitude every week we’d be able to back up our bowlers who are constantly given low targets and expected to deliver.
Rant over, we can’t do anything about it now but we must take on board what has gone on, draw a line under it and look to go forward together as a team. There was bound to be a time when we had a run of results like this but it’s how you emerge from it that is the most important thing of all.
Talent will always come to the fore, as I said earlier, this team is packed with talent, I’m positive the results will come, but that will only happen on the back of some very hard work by us, again, as a team. When confidence is high the results just seem to flow as they did last season but now is the time to dig in and scrap our way away from the position we have put ourselves in.
Roll on June, lets bare our teeth and have a bulldog backlash.
The Mentallist of the month for May is the outstanding Damien Honey, still taking wickets and twice now he has shown the ability to stick around with the bat when all before him have long since departed. The chairman who leads from the front.