The first game of the cricket season was upon us so we made the short trip down the M23 to Handcross Park to play out what proved to be a closely fought contest. The hosts went into bat first so it was down to us to limit the run rate with some accurate bowling and sharp fielding. With the game being played on the Astroturf there was plenty of bounce in the ball and extremely small boundaries, so there were plenty of runs to be scored. During the course of the 12 overs we only bowled 18 extras, which is pretty good for a first game, however Handcross batted aggressively and took advantage of any loose balls to record 14 boundaries. Coupled with a handful of opportunist singles they finished their innings with the total of 204 runs. As we had taken 3 wickets from Matthew W, Charlie G and a run out that reduced the total to a final figure of 189 runs (-5 runs per wicket).
We took to the crease knowing that we had to score around 8 runs per over in order to chase down the total, without losing any wickets. The Handcross bowling was not as accurate as ours had been which resulted in 35 extras adding to our total. Although it can be beneficial to your score tally it also reduces the amount of balls you can actually hit to the boundary. This was to be our downfall as we quickly ran out of hittable balls finishing up with 205 runs. The problem we faced was that we had lost 4 wickets during our 12 overs so our adjusted score was 185 runs!
Batting figures: William S and Charlie G (8), Harry L, Arthur G and Daniel vH (5) and Arun B (2)
The easy analysis is to say that the extra wicket that we lost cost us the game, as without it we would have scored 190 runs, however I believe a more accurate analysis would be to focus on the lack of hittable balls that our batsmen faced. One more single run per pair would have won this game for us but when 35 out of 72 balls are either wide or no balls it makes the task extremely difficult.
I was pleased with the boys today and even with the negative result it is safe to say that they all enjoyed themselves, remained concentrated for the vast majority of time in the field, tried their best to bowl straight and attacked when in bat. If they keep that up for the rest of the season I am sure they will get the results they deserve. Well done!