One Day Competition - President Cardinals vs St Albans, Sydenham Park #3, Presidents, 1st November 2014
Last year's champions St Albans were always going to be a challenge, but made tougher by the ongoing unavailability within our squad which was compounded by Geoff's overnight illness, both of which had us scratching around for a couple of ring-ins at the last moment on the day. Fortunately Ralphy won the toss on a bright sunny day, and on another impressive looking Sydenham no. 3, and he rightfully elected to bat.
After an initial promising 21 opening partnership between Laughts and Kev Moore came to an end when Kev missed an in-swinger, and the innings never really recovered from that point. Laughts got through to 26 looking well in charge before leaving Ferg with apparently no choice but to exit him, and then wickets continued to tumble at regular intervals with a series of partnerships of which most failed to get above a dozen. Of the batsmen, Matt was the best of them. Together with Ferg they started a recovery of the innings from 62/4 when they came together up to 90 before both of them were involved in one of the bigger shambles seen this season in the context of the match - with the innings in the balance, a shot through mid-wicket for an easy single, or a risky two past one of the few Saints fielders with an arm, saw Matt run out by a country mile and with it realistically our last chance for a competitive score - it was a classic case of brain not engaged by either player, neither the one that called the run, nor the one that should have turned it down and waved farewell to the other's bad call, or lack of it.
Between them Laught's, Matt and Ferg's 20 odds would have been useful contributions to the total but unfortunately no one was able to play on to get the 80 plus required to get a competitive score. Consequently we finished with a paltry 131 all out on a good wicket against a side that to date had only lost 8 wickets in their four previous wins - as it turned out, they only wasted another one wicket to take this match out as well
Much like the batsmen, the bowlers never really got into the game and able to apply much pressure - Saints Flavell was the main reason for that. Always an excellent player when on song, Flav's 80* was a master class of fours and sixes that we struggled to contain as he never permitted any the bowler to settle on a line or length. Ralphy was the pick of them, with only a couple of boundaries off his last two balls somewhat disguising his great spell with figures of 1/24 off 6 on a good deck. Jules was hit out of the attack after a couple of overs by Flavell and none of the rest of the bowlers, with the exception of Ferg with his 17 off 5 overs, would have felt any more comfortable. Flem 28 off less than 2 overs in the past two matches, after his injury induced late start to the season, typifying the struggles over the last few games.
Apart from two catches put down by the two Kev's, one a caught and bowled skyer over the bowler's head, and an otherwise comfortable low diving catch at back square leg, and a Flavell bullet through Ivan and mid-off, the fielding was adequate but it was mainly comprised of collecting the ball from Flavell's latest boundary. Laught's as usual looked like he's been a keeper all his life.
So the dilemma of our poor start to the season continues, and we are now on the wrong end of four of our first five matches, whereas last season at this stage it was the other way around. The frustrating aspect for sporting teams is that form does count alot, but equally it can be fickle and turned around as we did last season after losing a few close to Christmas and then running unbeaten from that point on - but for moment our main target is to get up make the top four cut off.
Check out the scorecard from the game.