Won one, Lost one – Knocked Out
This was a day of contrasts.
Having won the toss for our first match, we elected to bat. Ross County had just finished on the field against Northern Counties (our opponent for the second match) and this, we hoped, would give us an advantage.
As it turns out we got of to a great start with frequent boundaries quickly building our score at an impressive rate. The most impressive innings was that of Anjum, who in one over, scored a six, a six, a six, a six, a four, a four and the a six. Thirty-eight in one over and a number of lost balls. Ash’s innings only lasted a couple of overs but he seemed to be at the crease for a long time… turns out most of his time in the centre was spent watching people trying to retrieve various match balls from interesting places.
We finished our innings on two hundred and thirteen, a very creditable score. Our bowling attack took over from where our batting left off. It was tight and aggressive giving little away and causing Ross Counties’ top order difficulty hitting the required run rate.
Good fielding, some half decent catches and pin point bowling took steady wickets and so Ross County ended their innings well short of the required runs. It was a comprehensive victory for the first match.
We headed into the second match against Northern Counties with confidence. Once again, after winning the toss, we elected to bat first. However, we never really got established. A constant stream of wickets fallen meant we were relying on our lower order to generate the runs and it just didn’t click. Our innings finished on one hundred and six.
Northern Counties, in contrast, got off to a fast start. Unlike the first game, the fielding was poor. I dropped a somewhat tricky catch (but one I would have backed myself to take nine times out of ten and really, should have caught) early doors. And Anjum did the same two overs later. That was the difference in the end. We failed to threaten their openers, Dave Dugdale and Alex Green, those two catches could have been the decisive factor.
In the end, in all honesty, I don’t think it would have made a difference. Northern Counties were too strong and we did not post a good enough total for them to chase. It was a disappointment and shows we are still lacking consistency as a squad. But our irritation at such a loss also proves that we are competitive, expect a lot of ourselves, and that we are actually pushing hard for some silverware this season.
Not to be this time, but there is always next week. Easily, for a thirty-eight run over, Ash Anjum was the player of the day.