One Day Competition - President Cardinals vs BWU, SCG #1, Presidents, 12th January 2013
The occasion deserved so much better than this; a lovely summer's day, back on Syd No.1 playing a top two team, and the honour of playing the first game back since the pavilion was reopened following renovation - yes, so much more than what we put on.
We learnt nothing new from this match; we have a great bowling unit, and when availability is poor, a very limited batting one on current form. It would be easy to suggest that our decision to permit BWU to bat first contributed greatly to this loss. A flat bouncy track with temperatures in the high 20's certainly suggested batting first, and hopefully keeping most of the team fresh for the latter bowling effort - however, that would have exposed our weaker unit earlier in the game (something that the Black Caps had mistakenly done in the 1st test) and it was understandable that Kev might consider the lesser risk was to try to let the bowlers create the opportunity for us.
In truth they probably did exactly that, but it didn't look that way for the first half of the BWU innings. The first 27 overs were definitely BWU's. At 113/2 they were coasting towards a 200 plus score. A new player to us, Conrad Dryer, was crafting the match high score of 50 with little risk, and although our bowlers were generally going well, we just weren't creating enough chances. Thommo had the usual reintroduction to the crease after an absence of 10 months with a few really good deliveries as his three overs progressed, but mixed with some wayward ones that had him going at eights.
But we turned it back from there when Jeremy Brown produced the best bowling performance of the day with 3/28 from his eight, and Flem 2/19, both assisted greatly by a couple of good catches from Yogi behind square. This gave us a chance to restrict BWU to a more reasonable total, and the return of Jase (2/23) and Jules (0/27) certainly accomplished that. Between them, they took wickets and restricted BWU such that their final total of 173 was a great relief from what it was looking like earlier.
But that was the end of the good part of the game, the middle bit, because then we had to bat. We were quickly 1/9, and when Matt was disastrously run-out, 5/55 and definitely coming second. Flem batted throughout much of the latter effort, but BWU, who have performed strongly this year, were bowling well and he was unable to form a partnership that could get us back on the rails. In the end we were bowled out for a very disappointing 85 in 31 overs, with Flem's 41 and Kev's 13 the only two to make it to double figures. So the truth is, it wouldn't have mattered what decision Kev had made, if we batted like that we were always going to come second
There were undoubtedly some encouraging aspects to this game for us, but they were mostly confined to the bowling. But realistically this result, coming on the back of the Hornby loss before Christmas, no doubt now leaves us with the sole challenge for the rest of the season of getting a better balance back into our game, and to act as a "spoiler" for other teams in the competition. As Kev himself discussed after the match, although we have undoubtedly a much stronger squad than over the last couple of years, the new younger generation of players that are currently filtering into all the teams is both great of the competition, but making it a heck of a lot tougher grade, and exposing an weaknesses that you may have.
Check out the scorecard from the game.