Lost by four wickets
Well, what an amazing game of Cricket that was. How on earth did we lose it? There were so many twists and turns to the plot, one could point to several different reasons, but losing on the very last ball was a real killer.
Jim won the toss and elected to bat. Despite losing Ross (3) with the score on 31, the top order fired spectacularly. Anjum (42), Nilesh (31), Os (51) and debutant Ruhul (36), rushed the score along to 180/4 after 19 overs. Graeme Carney then made crucial bowling changes, taking pace off the ball by introducing Renato Belli and Chris Blake to the attack. The runs dried up dramatically as wickets fell in another quick procession, and the score slumped to 188/9 before Ronan and Brandon closed out the innings at 197/9. The last 11 overs yielded just 17 runs. Belli finished with 3/11 off 6, and Blake 2/5 off 5.
By contrast, Ross County struggled early in their reply. Scott (8) was soon a victim, caught Anjum bowled Ronan, but Carney and Hardwick took the score to 72 before Os took a smart catch to dismiss Carney off Anjums’ bowling. Embleton and Morgan fell quicky to Ross as they slumped to 73/4 after 17 overs.. From then on though, Hardwick and Sugden turned the game on its head, putting on 57 in 6 overs before Hardwick was caught behind by Jim off Os for 45. The breakthrough only brought Chris Blake to the crease however, and he and Sugden got Ross C to within 4 runs of the target with 3 balls left. Blake (31) holed out to Ross off Ruhuls bowling, but hopes were dashed as Sugden (41 n.o.) hit the winning runs off the last ball.
Frustratingly, extras, particularly wides, made a crucial difference. In total Ross County bowled only 15, while FA contributed 39 to the Ross County total.
On a positive note, the top order was once again in spectacular form, and the contribution by our young lads in the field was brilliant. Overall though, that was a game that should have been won. How frustrating.