Wath were the visitors to Abbeydale on Saturday, with a victory badly needed for the 2’s to end a run of 3 successive defeats.
Riaz lost the toss, and we were inserted by ex Collegiate star Rob Barlow. Disaster struck with the 3rd ball of the match, as an out of sorts Mark Leiper tried to impress his scoring WAG by hitting a half volley out of Dore – bowled. Whatever happened to the phrase – “have a look at it” – in one ear, out the next. I digress – Riaz joined Israh at the crease, and both batsmen initially found runs easy to come by. We quickly got to 50-1, however both batsmen got bogged down by some disciplined bowling and fielding by Wath (hopefully we watched and learned) and as pressure built, we lost wickets. Riaz the first, lbw suspiciously to Reynolds for 18. Benji came and went again, dismissed softly (C&B) to their overseas spinner. 71-3 quickly became 71-4, as Khuram showed his inexperience by running himself out. Charlie Langdale next in, and he played some really good shots off their spinners, quickly amassing 27 off 26 balls – however inexperience was shown again, as he was stumped off the bowling of Barlow. Israh in the meantime was batting sensibly (39 no), but with no one supporting him for any length of time, the pressure was building on him to score big. After Colton was dismissed cheaply, Duncan and Israh batted well and took the score to 141, with Israh bringing up a well deserved 50 but after Duncan was dismissed for 15, the damage was all but done. Israh got out very next ball (58), stumped, and he was quickly followed by Staley (he has to be 11 next week) and Zabe, leaving Bully as the not out batsmen – 147 all out.
Duncan and Staley opened the bowling, with Duncan getting early success as their overseas got one that popped and Colton took a scrambling catch behind the stumps that only Simmo could have dreamed of taking. Unfortunately, he had already scored 21 at that stage, and with Reynolds in destructive form as ever, they quickly got to 70. Bully was brought in to attack, and got Reynolds caught behind. Staley got his deserved wicket with cheat Barnard caught behind (he didn’t walk again), giving Colton his 3rd catch! 94-3 became 104-4 as Bully enticed Burrows into a drive that was easily caught at mid off by Charlie “get shorty” Langdale. With light descending, and the threat of rain looming, Wath decided to pick up pace and Johnny Younis and Barlow set about getting quick runs to end game. Benji came on to bowl though, and had other ideas – getting rid of Barlow and Airey in quick succession, 135-6 and pressure showing a little. Johnny was dropped at extra cover by Khuram and also had a slice of luck as he hit one that just bounced in front of Lister at gully, who in fairness, was stopping the 1! The game was over when Johnny completed his 50 and 4 wicket win for Wath. 180 would have been different game.
All in all, another disappointing defeat. Yes we have got a young team, and yes we have competed against a side with a big wage bill for the division – but the end result is the same. A few weeks ago, after we beat Darfield, we spoke about a run of games coming up against top sides. We have lost them all, and players have proved they are either a) not good enough or b) not disciplined/training hard enough. If it’s a) then fair enough – captain takes responsilbity by picking team, but if it’s b) – you can impact on that. Batsmen need to score runs, bowlers need to take wickets – if you are not doing either, you have to contribute in field. It’s a tough league, with little margin for error and we have to learn quicker. This team needs to play in the Premier League and if we are not careful, we will undo early good work.
Positives – Colton’s keeping, Israh’s batting and Staley’s bowling once again.
Negatives – I don’t need to write those, players know who are letting themselves down.
Big game next week.